* Why is Shakespeare famous?
Who was William Shakespeare?
William Shakespeare is one of the world's greatest writers. He wrote playsfor the theatre. He wrote poetry too.
Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, in England. Later he went to London, to be an actor. But he became famous for writing plays. His friends said he was the best writer of his time. Most people now say he was the best of all time.
Why is Shakespeare so famous?
Shakespeare lived more than 400 years ago. Yet people still go to see his plays.
Shakespeare plays are performed all over the world. Students study Shakespeare in school and at university. People write books about Shakespeare. There are Shakespeare theatres and Shakespeare festivals.
When did Shakespeare live? 
William Shakespeare was born in 1564. He grew up in Tudor England in the time of Queen Elizabeth I.
He lived in exciting times. Francis Drake sailed around the world (1577-1580). Shakespeare was probably in London when the Spanish Armada sailed to attack England in 1588. He saw the coronation of King James I in 1603. 1605 was the year of the Gunpowder Plot and Guy Fawkes. Shakespeare died in 1616.

  * The young Shakespeare
The Shakespeare family
Baby William was christened (baptised a Christian) on 26 April 1564. Many people think his birthday was 23 April - St George's Day.
William Shakespeare was probably 'Will' to his family.
Shakespeare's father was John Shakespeare, a glove-maker. His mother Mary was the daughter of a farmer named Robert Arden. His grandfather was a farmer too.
School days
John Shakespeare was an important man in the town of Stratford. In 1568, he was mayor. He sent William to the town grammar school.
The boys at the school had lessons in Latin, Greek and history. They had to work hard. If boys were naughty, the teacher beat them.
Having fun
Shakespeare and his friends played in the fields. They went fishing and swimming in the River Avon.
When Shakespeare was about 5, a group...