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William Shakespeare

©James Bennett Dream by SV Bosak

English dramatist, playwright, and poet, member of the Club of Dreamers (Dream by Susan V. Bosak).

Though Shakespeare is recognized
as one of literature's greatest influences, very little is actually known about him. What we do know about his life comes from registrar records, court records, wills, marriage certificates and his tombstone.

He wrote some of the most well-known plays in the English language, from Romeo and Juliet to Hamlet to Macbeth. He is believed to have written at least 37 plays. He's also remembered for his 154 love poems, written in the sonnet form. He brought many words and sayings to the modern English language.

Wrote William Shakespeare:

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It

"'Tis the mind that makes the body rich."
The Taming of the Shrew

"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."

Recommended Reading:

All the World's A Stage by Rebecca Piatt Davidson and Anita Lobel (illus). Greenwillow, 2003. An introduction to nine of Shakespeare's plays written in the style of "The House That Jack Built" as a series of cumulative poems.

Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare by Diane Stanley with Peter Vennema. HarperCollins, 1992. A well-researched, conversational narrative accompanied by intricate period paintings that recounts the Bard's early years in Stratford-on-Avon, his years in London where he worked first as an actor and then as a playwright, and his final years in Stratford. A postscript discusses some of the popular words and phrases Shakespeare created.

Hear, Hear, Mr. Shakespeare: Story, Illustrations and Selections from Shakespeare's Plays by Bruce Koscielniak. Houghton Mifflin, 1998. Readers are invited for a fanciful visit with Shakespeare at his Stratford house and garden, with fitting short quotes from his plays accompanied by explanations and definitions.

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream: A Child's Book of Rhymes by William Shakespeare and James Mayhew (illus). The Chicken House, 2001. A selection of snippets from Shakespeare's plays accompanied by scenes of a mother, her three children, and a young neighbor as they frolic through fields, streams, and alongside the seashore from dawn to dusk. A nice introduction for very young children.

© SV Bosak, www.legacyproject.org

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