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Shakespeare Timeline

Discover Shakespeare's Life with Our Shakespeare Timeline


Shakespeare Timeline

Shakespeare Timeline

Photo © NYPL Digital Gallery

This Shakespeare timeline covers all the significant events that shaped Shakespeare’s biography. Born in 1564, Shakespeare lived through the massive cultural and socio-political shifts of the Elizabethan and Jacobean period. Before his death in 1616, he managed to produce 37 plays and 154 sonnets, considered to be the most important and enduring ever written. This Shakespeare timeline brings together all of these significant events in one place.

Shakespeare Timeline

  • 1564
    Shakespeare was born on 23 April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptized at Holy Trinity Church.

  • 1571-1578
    Shakespeare attended King Edward IV Grammar School in Stratford-upon-Avon between the age of 7 and 14.

  • 1582
    Married Anne Hathaway from nearby Shottery in November 1582, possibly in a Catholic ceremony.

  • 1583
    His daughter Susanna was born in May – she was conceived out of wedlock.

  • 1585
    Shakespeare’s twins, Judith and Hamnet born in February 1585.

  • 1585-1592
    During the Shakespeare lost years, Shakespeare disappears from the history books for several years.

  • 1592
    By this time, Shakespeare had moved to London and established himself as a popular dramatist. We don’t know when Shakespeare moved to London, but it is widely accepted that it happened in the late 1580s.

  • 1594
    Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, his classic tragedy about star-crossed lovers.

  • 1596
    Hamnet died at the age of 11. Shakespeare was devastated by the death of his only son, and it is argued that the character of Hamlet Prince of Denmark, written four years later, is evidence of this.

  • 1598
    Shakespeare wrote Much Ado About Nothing, one of his best-loved comedies.

  • 1600
    Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, possibly in response to the death of his son.

  • 1605
    Macbeth first performed at the Globe Theater.

  • 1610-1611
    Shakespeare retires from London and moves back to his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. He spent the rest of life living in New Place, one of the town’s largest houses.

  • 1616
    Shakespeare's death occurred on April 23, 1616. He was buried two days later in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. You can still view his grave and read the epitaph engraved into the stone.

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