William Shakespeare was a great English playwright, and poet who lived during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest playwright of all time. No other writer's plays have been produced so many times or read so widely in so many countries as his. Shakespeare was born in Stratford England in 1564. His father was a glovemaker who owned a leather shop, and his mother was a farmer's daughter. William Shakespeare was one of eight children. His family was well off and he began attending the Stratford Grammar School at age seven. He went to school year round and attended school for nine hours a day. Though Shakespeare spent long hours at school, his life was fascinating. He lived in an exciting town with many pageants, shows and fairs. He also spent much time outside fishing and hunting small game. Shakespeare's poems and plays show his love of nature which comes from his childhood. In 1582 Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway of a neighboring village. She was 26 and he was 18 and the time. They had three children. Susana was their first and then they had twins, Hamnet and Judith. William's son Hamnet died and his two daughters got married. In London, Shakespeare's career took off. He was a leading member of a very popular acting company in London called "The Lord Chamberlain's Men". This company depended on admission from their audience and got just that from Shakespeare's plays. By 1594 six of his plays had been produced. During Shakespeare's life, there were two monarchs who ruled England. They were Henry the eight and Elizabeth the first. Both were impressed with Shakespeare which made his name known. Shakespeare worked as an actor and playwright for Lord Chamberlian's Men, Globe Theater, and the Blackfriars Theater. He later retired to Stratford in 1613 where he wrote many of his excellent plays.