Before the Renaissance most European writers wrote in Latin but Shakespeare was a leading vernacular writer of the Renaissance. The vernacular language is the common language of the people in a particular country such as English and French.
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon in 1564. At 18 years of age, he married Anne Hathaway, daughter of a wealthy landlord.
Shortly afterwards, Shakespeare moved to London to become an actor. Actors were expected to act and write their own plays. By 1595 he became the most famous playwright in England.
He wrote 37 plays including comedies, such as A Midsummer's Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing, and also tragedies, like King Lear, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. Finally he also wrote playwrights based on the English history, for example Henry V and Richard III.
Shakespeare opened his own theatre called the Globe. It was a round wooden building with an open-air stage and it could hold up to 2000 people.
Unlike today, a visit to a theatre could be a rowdy affair. If the audience thought the play was boring, rotten apples were thrown at the actors.
Shakespeare was also famous for writing sonnets. His plays and poems made him rich and he retired in 1610 after 20 years of working. In 1616 he died in his hometown and he was buried in the local church. His plays and poems still remain popular today.