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Later, Shakespeare bought a considerable amount of land in Stratford, doubling his investment. Both the Capulets and Montagues existed in Verona at this time and Shakespeare is reckoned to have discovered this tragic love story in Arthur Brooke's 1562 poem entitled "The Tragical Historye of Romeus and Juliet" . We assume it was in Stratford upon Avon since he was baptized in 1564 at The Holy Trinity Church in Stratford on April the 26th. The First Folio of 1623, complied by Shakespeare’s fellow actors John Hemminges and Henry Condell was the first ever publication of Shakespeare’s plays. All publications of Shakespeare’s play’s are derived from this Folio.

Only 250 original copies are said to exist today, each worth roughly just 1 Pound in 1623.

Sonnet 18 begins with the opening lines, " Shall I compare thee (you) to a summer’s day? Is it true Shakespeare didn’t write any of his plays?

The play Cardenio, though written and performed in Shakespeare’s time has not been recorded in the First Folio of 1623 as were Shakespeare’s other plays. The traditional camp maintains that William Shakespeare was indeed a poet, playwright and an actor.

Cardenio has been lost to time for the modern reader. Critics known as "Oxfordians" argue that a more likely contender may have been Edward de Ver (1550-1604)whom T. Looney in 1920, claimed authored Shakespeare's plays, Christopher Marlowe or even Queen Elizabeth herself!

By convention and some guesswork, Shakespeare’s birthday is by tradition celebrated three days earlier on April the 23rd. It is believed that Shakespeare penned his first play Henry VI, Part One, between 15. This play is believed to have been performed at The Rose Theatre in London. With 37 plays under his belt, it is hard to place some plays above others.

Nonetheless, most academics and readers alike would agree that Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, King Henry V, King Lear, Macbeth , Othello and Antony and Cleopatra are amongst Shakespeare’s most recognizable and hence most popular plays. In 1609, Shakespeare’s sonnets were published without the Bard’s permission.

Indeed Shakespeare was, purchasing both the new place and a large holding of land in the Stratford area.

He was also a co-owner of the Globe Theatre with the other members of The Lord Chamberlain’s Men in 1599. Unlike many famous poets and artists, Shakespeare not only did not die penniless but was a frequent performer before the Court Queen Elizabeth I (The Merry Wives of Windsor in 1596, A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream in 1603) and King James I who commended The King’s Men‘s two performances of The Merchant of Venice in 1605. Few people realize that aside from writing 37 plays and 154 sonnets, Shakespeare was an actor as well.

However despite putting up some plausible contenders for Shakespeare’s throne, Shakespeare remains the most likely evidence wise.

For now at least, it is still safe to say Shakespeare did indeed write the 37 plays and 154 sonnets credited to him. Yes, so much so that in 1597, he bought one of the most prestigious properties in all of Stratford, The New Place. Romeo and Juliet was in fact based on the life of two real lovers who both died for each other and lived in Verona, Italy in 1303.

Surprisingly, Shakespeare is said to have penned Henry VIII with the likely help of noted dramatist John Fletcher between 16.


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