Why is Shakespeare regarded as the world’s greatest poet and playwright?

            William Shakespeare, an English poet and dramatist, is widely regarded as the greatest writer of all time. It is believed that Shakespeare wrote 34 plays between 1591 and 1641. His first play is believed to have been Henry VI, and his last two were probably The Tempest and Henry VIII. Even today, his plays are performed more often and in more countries than ever before. Ben Jonson’s (one of his great contemporaries) prophecy that ‘he was not of an age but for all time’ has been marvellously fulfilled.

            Born in 1564, Shakespeare’s early life was spent in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he attended the local grammar school. At the age of 18, he married a local girl, Anne Hathaway, who bore him a daughter Susanna and the twins, Hamnet and Judith. By 1584 he had emerged as a rising playwright in London. He continued to live there, enjoying fame and prosperity as a member of London’s leading theatre company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Company (afterwards known as the King’s Men). They played at the Globe Theatre, Bankside, which was burnt down in June 1613, during a performance of Henry VIII.

            In about 1610 Shakespeare retired to his birthplace and lived as a country gentleman. His will was made in March 1616, a few months before his death. He was buried in the parish Church at Stratford.

            Though we know a lot about Shakespeare’s works yet little is known about his early life. It seems that his versatility flowed from a deep and wide knowledge of history, geography, mythology, religion, biology, human psychology and Latin. Apart from being a famous playwright, he was also a renowned poet and actor.

            Among the most famous works of Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear and Twelfth Night occupy a lasting place in the history of literature and theatre. He also wrote some loveliest sonnets in English and almost all of his works have been translated into different languages of the world.