William Shakespeare
#7 Overall Influence

William Shakespeare

English playwright and poet

About

Why is this person notable and influential?

William Shakespeare was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon” . His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. They also continue to be studied and reinterpreted.

Source: Wikipedia

Other Resources

Amazon Buy Now button For: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Bright Notes Study Guide to A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of Shakespeare’s most famous and widely performed plays for the stage. As a comedy of the sixteenth-century, Shakespeare expertly examines the unpredictability and impact of romantic love. Moreover, love is the most prominent theme, expressed through Shakespeare’s portrayal of love as irrational, blind, and often cruel and forgiving.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Antony and Cleopatra
Bright Notes Study Guide to Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Antony and Cleopatra

    Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, one of Shakespeare’s most moving and richest works. As a tragedy of Roman and Egyptian history, Shakespeare reaches the pinnacle point of his poetic evolution as he transitions in works. Moreover, Shakespeare’s use of rhythm, images, figures, and verse, he makes every experience personally felt by the reader.

Amazon Buy Now button For: As You Like It
Bright Notes Study Guide to As You Like It by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: As You Like It

    As You Like It, is one of Shakespeare’s “great” or “middle” comedies. Breight Notes offers a comprehensive study guide offering in-depth explanation, essay, and test prep for William Shakespeare’s work.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Coriolanus
Bright Notes Study Guide to Coriolanus by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Coriolanus

    Coriolanus is the last of Shakespeare’s political tradegies. As an unusual and intense, intellectual drama, Shakespeare employs single narrative line and striking images, but the most effective moments in the play are developed through understated silence.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Hamlet
Bright Notes Study Guide to Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Hamlet

    Hamlet mirrors the most fundamental themes and problems common of the Renaissance. The play essentially demonstrates the difficulty of knowing the truth about other people and the power that knowledge can have.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Henry IV, Part 1
Bright Notes Study Guide to Henry IV, Part 1 by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Henry IV, Part 1

    Shakespeare combines history and comedy to illustrate the rise of the English Royal House of Lancaster. He remarkably devises a variety of rich texture, an enthralling view on historical politics, and a new take on characterization with his dynamic and unpredencent roles.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Henry IV, Part 2
Bright Notes Study Guide to Henry IV, Part 2 by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Henry IV, Part 2

    Moving from intense battle scenes of kings to simple scenes of country life, Henry IV’s compelling themes of power struggle and burdensome royal life are demonstrated through his imagery and characterization.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Henry V
Bright Notes Study Guide to Henry V by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Henry V

    Shakespeare explores the complicated nature of responsibility and kingship. Moreover, he depicts the moral and personal costs of war through the complex portrayal of Henry V.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Julius Caesar
Bright Notes Study Guide to Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Julius Caesar

    Julius Caesar explores the complicated nature of power and political transitions. Shakespeare focuses on the moral struggle between demands of honor, friendship, patriotism, and loyalty.

Amazon Buy Now button For: King Lear
Bright Notes Study Guide to King Lear by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: King Lear

    King Lear provides commentary on power dynamics within family and political structures. Moreover, it shows how the use of imagery in a narrative contributes to the overall meaning.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Macbeth
Bright Notes Study Guide to Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Macbeth

    Macbeth follows a man living in a constructed universe in which he cannot toy with evil without facing consequences. Readers witness the primary theme that destruction comes to characters who do not fear the outcomes of their actions.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Much Ado About Nothing
Bright Notes Study Guide to Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Much Ado About Nothing

    Much Ado About Nothing poses the question of how love expresses itself. It suggests to readers that people who get swept up into fits of passion do so because of everyday situations and emotions.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Othello
Bright Notes Study Guide to Othello by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Othello

    Othello’s performance continues today due to the timeless themes of racism, love, jealousy, betrayal, revenge and repentance. Shakespeare was inspired by English, French, and Italian works, but Othello was primarily inspired by Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio’s Hecatommithi.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Richard II
Bright Notes Study Guide to Richard II by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Richard II

    Richard II contains imaginative descriptions and characterizations of real people in history and balances poetic language with harsh realism. It expresses themes of betrayal, leadership, and father-son relationships.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Richard III
Bright Notes Study Guide to Richard III by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Richard III

    Richard III plays with humor and the dichotomy between how King Richard presented himself versus how his subjects viewed him. The play includes themes like crime and conscience, specifically the ways Richard pushed aside his conscience and used murder as a tool in his schemes.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Romeo and Juliet
Bright Notes Study Guide to Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet displays Elizabethan belief in astrology and fate as it applies to the two star-crossed lovers. The story explores themes of romantic and courtly love, especially the expectations of young lovers and the conventions to which they are confined.

Amazon Buy Now button For: The Merchant of Venice
Bright Notes Study Guide to The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: The Merchant of Venice

    The Merchant of Venice displays themes like friendship and unrequited love, as well as religious persecution. The text conveys the perspective of Renaissance Christians, particularly the obligation they felt to convert those who did not believe in Jesus as Christ.

Amazon Buy Now button For: The Tempest
Bright Notes Study Guide to The Tempest by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: The Tempest

    The Tempest has heavy elements of masque, which includes singing, dancing, supernatural machinery, and a general feeling of unreality. Moreover, The Tempest covers themes regarding the soul and the human spirit’s capacity for growth.

Amazon Buy Now button For: Twelfth Night
Bright Notes Study Guide to Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Study Guide: Twelfth Night

    Twelfth Night is regarded as Shakespeare’s most masterful work of literature when it comes to theme, structure, and unity. It shows an intricate series of relationships showcasing the paradoxes and pitfalls of self-love.

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#1 World Rank
Literature