Shakespeare and the English Language

Shakespeare, William Shakespeare

Shakespeare: Resources on the Man and His Work

“He was not for an age but for all time,” Ben Jonson declared in the dedication to the 1623 First Folio of the plays of William Shakespeare. His poetry and plays are still published, produced, discussed, translated and analyzed in the 21st century, but Shakespeare himself remains the subject of speculation and mystery. Use this Web Guide to Shakespeare to examine the man and the controversies, as well as his work and its central place in English-speaking culture today.

William Shakespeare’s Life

Considering the scope of his fame, little is known about William Shakespeare's ... read more »

Shakespeare’s Works

Shakespeare has more books written about him than any other writer, he’s the most produced ... read more »

Shakespeare’s Authorship

Not only do Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets exhibit broad knowledge of the works of classical ... read more »

The Age of Shakespeare

Shakespeare lived and worked between 1564 and 1616, placing him squarely in the long and important ... read more »

Shakespeare’s Plays

Like learning a second language, learning to love Shakespeare's plays can ... read more »

Shakespeare and the English Language

Shakespeare is called the greatest author in the English language not only because his works are in English, but also for his profound and lasting impact on the language itself. Of the 25,000 words in the canon, roughly 1,500 were coined by Shakespeare himself. Read the information we've gathered on Shakespeare and the English Language to discover how his words have made a lasting contribution.

Insights for Shakespeare and the English Language

  • Considering how fast our language changes, and how long ago Shakespeare’s works were written, it’s not surprising that his plays and sonnets can seem unintelligible. Most editions of Shakespeare provide a glossary alongside the text for the trickiest words, but it’s often useful to read with a good dictionary at hand. Try the Absolute Shakespeare Glossary on Absolute Shakespeare next time you get stumped.

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