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Culture and Wellbeing: William Shakespeare

Guide to support events in the Library, College and the wider environment.
About William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was a poet, playwright, and actor who was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564.
The exact date he was born is not known, but it is generally considered to be the 23rd April.
In around 1594 he became a member of the Lord Chamberlain’s company of players who, after the accession of James I in 1603, became the King’s Men as they were often invited to perform before the monarch and assembled nobility.
He is thought by many to be the greatest writer and is credited as the author of works such as : Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest.
He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon".

Learn More!

The RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) has created this excellent Learning Zone with everything you could possibly want to know about the bard and his works.  Click on the link to find key facts, key scenes, pictures from past productions, and videos of actors and directors working on and performing the plays.  You can also find out more about your favourite characters and how they relate to each other.


Read more!

Get Outside while inside

Everyone around the world can now walk around Shakespeare’s Globe with this virtual tour and 360 iOS app. Or you can also go inside for a tour of where his most famous plays were performed. 


Streaming Shakespeare

The Globe is streaming 6 performances of Shakespeare's plays, one at a time, on rotation every two weeks, as part of their 'YouTube Premiers'.  Watch Hamlet, originally performed from 2018, available until 19th April, followed by Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Two Nobel Kinsmen, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and The Winters Tale. Hamlet starts at 7 but you can rewind to the beginning. 


The RSC will be broadcasting six of their plays on the BBC between now and September.  Details of the broadcasts are yet to be announced, but check this page to keep updated. 

Macbeth (2018), directed by Polly Findlay with Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack

Hamlet (2016), directed by Simon Godwin with Paapa Essiedu

Romeo and Juliet(2018), directed by our Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman

Much Ado About Nothing (2014), directed by Christopher Luscombe

Othello (2015), directed by Iqbal Khan with Hugh Quarshie and Lucian Msamati​

The Merchant of Venice (2015), directed by Polly Findlay

Christopher Eccleston as Macbeth in armour, looking upwards

Lockdown Shakespeare


Who was William Shakespeare?