Where and when was Shakespeare born?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Shakespeare was born in England in April of 1564 in the small town of Stratford of Avon. Interestingly, we have many legal and business records about Shakespeare showing his marriage, the birth of his children, property he owned, his will, business documents concerning the Globe theater, records of other places his plays were performed, and, of course, early copies of his plays and poems.

The frustrating aspect of Shakespeare's biography is the lack of information that has come down to us about his personal or interior life: we have no personal letters, for example, that he wrote to friends or family, and no diaries or journals that he kept. Therefore, we have very little idea what he was thinking when he was writing his plays. We have, for instance, no direct evidence of his religious beliefs, his politics, or what most drove him to achieve. Therefore, scholars scour his plays and poetry for hints of what he might have been like. This has led to many conflicting theories, such as that he was a secret Catholic sympathizer—others will argue he was a fervent Protestant. As there is no real way of knowing, the debates about will no doubt continue. If someone were to find a personal letter, say, that he wrote, that would be an event of extraordinary importance in the literary world.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-Upon- Avon, England in April of 1564; hence his nickname the Bard of Avon.  The exact date of his birth is unknown because of the lack of written records from the time, however his birth date is usually thought to be around April 26th because that is the day that he was baptized.  Here is some additional information for you.  Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in 1582 when he was 18 and they had three children, one of which (his only boy) died at a very young age.  In addition to being a playwright, Shakespeare was also an actor and a poet.  He died on April 23, 1616. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial