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William Shakespeare was an English playwright and poet. He is one of the most well-known English dramatists, writing a total of 38 plays and 158 sonnets over his lifetime. His plays are the most widely performed of any playwright in history and have been translated into every language. Little is known about Shakespeare's private life as few contemporaneous records of his life remain. This has led to speculation and controversy regarding his writing and various aspects of his life.

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1. Childhood

Though the exact date of Shakespeare's birth is unknown, we do know from parish records that he was baptised in the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-Upon-Avon on April 26 1564. His parents were John Shakespeare, an alderman and bailiff (mayor), and Mary Arden. Although no records survive, it is generally believed that Shakespeare would have attended the grammar school in Stratford, as would have been expected of the son of the town's bailiff. Here, boys would have been educated mainly in Latin. Shakespeare did not go on to attend university.

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