What is William Shakespeare famous for?  

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William Shakespeare lived and worked in the Elizabethan/ Jacobean times (1564-1616), in the professional and highly competitive business of live stage performance. He wrote a large body of dramatic work—collected in 1616 as the Shakespeare Folio—as well as dozens of sonnets and other poems. His fame was based on his reputation for presenting powerful history plays, comedies, and tragedies; the Elizabethan audience could count on superior, thought-provoking work from him; he appealed to “groundlings” (working-class patrons of the theatre who stood rather than sat), royalty (including Queen Elizabeth herself), the merchant class, university students, and visitors to London from all over the world. In the ensuing centuries, his plays were (and are) restaged over and over, keeping his fame alive. From his huge output, and because the English language was finding its maturity, Shakespeare invented and contributed thousands of words and phrases English speakers now use today. Today, he is famous for his artistic literary work (especially his iconic characters such as Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and Romeo) and contributions to the modern English Language.

 

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