Enough historical evidence exists to prove that the full name of the poet and playwright now known to be one of the world's greatest dramatists was William Shakespeare. That was his true name. He was born some time in 1564, although the exact date remains uncertain. He was the third child of a leather merchant named John Shakespeare and a landed heiress named Mary Arden. His two older sisters, who died young, were Judith and Joan, and his five younger siblings were Richard, Gilbert, Joan, Anne, and Edmund. These names and the year of his birth can be verified by various written records, including government records and church records from Holy Trinity Church at Stratford-upon-Avon. Records further show that William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in 1582. They had a daughter, Suzanna, with whom Anne was already pregnant when she and Shakespeare got married, and twins named Hamnet and Judith.
Perhaps the question about Shakespeare's name comes from the controversy that erupted long after his death about whether he wrote the literature that is credited to him or if his name is a pseudonym for someone else. Men that were proposed as the true author of Shakespeare's works included Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Edward de Vere. Detractors claim that Shakespeare's background and education did not qualify him to write such works of genius.
However, most scholars assert that the historical evidence that proves Shakespeare's authorship is overwhelming. His name is inscribed upon all of his works, and there is documentary evidence to support the fact that he was also an actor that appeared under his own name. Other contemporary playwrights and actors, including the famous writer Ben Jonson, mention Shakespeare in written comments and reviews. His works themselves, which have been studied by many scholars, show a continuity of style that does not match the work of other contemporary writers. There is little doubt about the author Shakespeare's works, and his full name was William Shakespeare.