The last half of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th centuries are known as the golden age of English literature. It was the time of the English Renaissance, and sometimes it is even called “the age of Shakespeare”. William Shakespeare, the greatest and the most famous of English writers, and probably the greatest playwright who has ever lived, was born in Stratford-on-Avon. In spite of his fame we know very little about his life. The things that we know about Shakespeare’s life begin with the date baptized in the church of Stratford, on April 26, 1564, when he was only a few days old. So he has believed to have been born on April 23. Though little is known about William’s childhood, there is every reason to believe that he was educated at the local Grammar school. When little over 18 he married Anne Halthaway of Shottery. William lived in Stratford until he was about 21, when he went to London. We don’t know why he left Stratford-on-Avon. There is a story that Shakespeare’s 1st job in London was holding rich men’s horses at the theatre door. But nobody can be sure that this story is true. Later, Shakespeare became an actor and a member of one of the chief acting companies. Soon he began to write plays for his company and in a few years became a well-known author. One writer of that time said that Shakespeare liked a quiet life, he didn’t like parties, and wasn’t fond of being invited to the court. “If he was invited to the court, he was in pain.” Shakespeare’s experience as an actor helped him greatly in the writing of his plays. His knowledge of stage and his poetical genius made his plays the most wonderful ones ever written. Shakespeare wrote 37 plays. Among them there are deep tragedies, such as Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth, light comedies, such as Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merry Wives of Windsor, historical dramas, such as Henry the fourth and Richard the third. Most of Shakespeare’s plays were not published in his lifetime. So some of them may have been lost in the fire when the “Globe” burned down in 1613. Shakespeare spent the last years of his life at Stratford, where he died in 1616. He was buried in the church of Stratford. A monument was erected to the memory of the great playwright in the Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey.