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William Shakespeare

  • About this Author
author spotlight

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King’s New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as “an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers.” Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later under James I, called the King’ s Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain’s Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.

author bookshelf
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Exam Copy
All's Well That Ends Well

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: September 13, 2011
Price: $8.00

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Also available as an eBook.

All's Well That Ends Well

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Jonathan Bate


Format: eBook, 224 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: September 13, 2011
Price: $2.99

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Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Antony and Cleopatra

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: April 14, 2009
Price: $8.00

Written at the pinnacle of Shakespeare’s career and featuring his most soaring poetic idiom, Antony and Cleopatra is both an immortal love story and a political drama played out on a global scale.

Under the editorial supervision of Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, two of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, this Modern... Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook and a paperback.

Exam Copy
Antony and Cleopatra

Written by William Shakespeare


Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: January 1, 1988
Price: $4.95

The queen of the Nile meets her match in Marc Antony, and the lovers destroy each other--yet triumph in ruin--in this great romantic tragedy. Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook and a trade paperback.

Antony and Cleopatra

Written by William Shakespeare


Format: eBook, 368 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: July 10, 2013
Price: $3.99

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Also available as an eBook, paperback and a trade paperback.

Antony and Cleopatra

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen


Format: eBook
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: August 4, 2009
Price: $2.99

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Also available as an eBook, paperback and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
As You Like It

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: May 4, 2010
Price: $8.00

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Also available as an eBook, eBook and a paperback.

Exam Copy
As You Like It

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by David Bevington and David Scott Kastan


Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: January 1, 1988
Price: $4.99

As You Like It, Shakespeare's lighthearted comedy and one of the best-loved and most performed of all his plays, was probably written in 1599 or 1600, though it was not printed until the First Folio of 1623.
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Also available as an eBook, eBook and a trade paperback.

As You Like It

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen


Format: eBook
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: May 4, 2010
Price: $2.99

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Also available as an eBook, paperback and a trade paperback.

As You Like It

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by David Bevington and David Scott Kastan


Format: eBook, 288 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: October 28, 2009
Price: $4.99

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Also available as an eBook, paperback and a trade paperback.

The Comedies of Shakespeare
(A Modern Library E-Book)
Written by William Shakespeare


Format: eBook, 1120 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: November 1, 2000
Price: $2.99

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Exam Copy
Comedies, vol. 1
Volume 1
Written by William Shakespeare


Format: Hardcover, 800 pages
Publisher: Everyman's Library
On Sale: July 10, 1995
Price: $24.00

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Exam Copy
Comedies, vol. 2
Volume 2
Written by William Shakespeare


Format: Hardcover, 960 pages
Publisher: Everyman's Library
On Sale: April 16, 1996
Price: $26.00

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The Comedy of Errors

Written by William Shakespeare


Format: eBook, 240 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: September 16, 2009
Price: $4.99

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Also available as an eBook, paperback and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The Comedy of Errors

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen


Format: Trade Paperback, 176 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: June 14, 2011
Price: $8.00

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Also available as an eBook, eBook and a paperback.

Exam Copy
The Comedy of Errors

Written by William Shakespeare


Format: Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: January 1, 1988
Price: $4.99

When two sets of twins, separated and apparently lost to each other, all end up in the rowdy, rollicking city of Ephesus, the stage is set for mix-ups, mayhem, and mistaken identity--plus the timeless puns, jokes, gags, and suspense that makes this play a wonderful theatrical frolic and a brilliant tour... Read more >
Also available as an eBook, eBook and a trade paperback.

The Comedy of Errors

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen


Format: eBook
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: June 14, 2011
Price: $2.99

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Also available as an eBook, paperback and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Coriolanus

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: June 14, 2011
Price: $8.00

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Also available as an eBook.

Coriolanus

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen


Format: eBook
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: June 14, 2011
Price: $2.99

Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Cymbeline

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: September 13, 2011
Price: $8.00

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Also available as an eBook.

Cymbeline

Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen


Format: eBook, 256 pages
Publisher: Modern Library
On Sale: September 13, 2011
Price: $2.99

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Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Four Comedies
The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night
Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by David Bevington and David Scott Kastan


Format: Paperback, 736 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: January 1, 1988
Price: $6.99

Contains The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night. This edition of the complete works of Shakespeare contains photographs from New York Shakespeare
Festival productions, vivid readable introductions for each play by noted scholar David Bevington, a lively personal foreword by Joseph Papp... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Four Comedies
The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Twel fth Night
Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by David Bevington and David Scott Kastan


Format: eBook, 736 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: August 26, 2009
Price: $6.99

Read more >
Also available as a paperback.

Exam Copy
Four Tragedies
Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth
Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by David Bevington and David Scott Kastan


Format: Paperback, 976 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: January 1, 1988
Price: $7.99

Edited by David Bevington, internationally renowned Shakespeare scholar. With a foreword by Joseph Papp, one of the most important forces in theater today. Contained here are Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth which are considered to be the four central works of Shakespearean tragedy and should be included in any list... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Four Tragedies
Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth
Written by William Shakespeare
Edited by David Bevington and David Scott Kastan


Format: eBook, 976 pages
Publisher: Bantam Classics
On Sale: August 26, 2009
Price: $7.99

Read more >
Also available as a paperback.
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