|William. 1564--1616, English dramatist and poet. He was born and died at Stratford-upon-Avon but spent most of his life as an actor and playwright in London. His plays with approximate dates of composition are: Henry VI, Parts I--III (1590); Richard III (1592); The Comedy of Errors (1592); Titus Andronicus (1593); The Taming of the Shrew (1593); The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594); Love's Labour's Lost (1594); Romeo and Juliet (1594); Richard II (1595); A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595); King John (1596); The Merchant of Venice (1596); Henry IV, Parts I--II (1597); Much Ado about Nothing (1598); Henry V (1598); Julius Caesar (1599); As You Like It (1599); Twelfth Night (1599); Hamlet (1600); The Merry Wives of Windsor (1600); Troilus and Cressida (1601); All's Well that ends Well (1602); Measure for Measure (1604); Othello (1604); King Lear (1605); Macbeth (1605); Antony and Cleopatra (1606); Coriolanus (1607); Timon of Athens (1607); Pericles (1608); Cymbeline (1609); The Winter's Tale (1610); The Tempest (1611); and, possibly in collaboration with John Fletcher, Two Noble Kinsmen (1612) and Henry VIII (1612). His Sonnets, variously addressed to a fair young man and a dark lady, were published in 1609|
Heo scæken on heore honden speren swiðe stronge." [Laymon, "Brut," c. 1205]"Never a name in English nomenclature so simple or so certain in origin. It is exactly what it looks -- Shakespear." [Bardsley, "Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames," 1901] Nevertheless, speculation flourishes.