His birthplace was the small market town of Stratford-upon-Avon in England.
Shakespeare is christened
26 April 1564
Shakespeare attended small private school
From the age of four he attended school and learned how to read and write. He would have left school when he was fifteen.
Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway
27 November 1582
When he was 18 years old, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, who was the daughter of a local farmer and 8 years older than Shakespeare.
Shakespeare's first child, Susana, was born
Shakespeare's twins, Judith and Hamnet were born
Shakespeare wrote 10 comedies
1590 - 1600
Audiences enjoyed the bawdy humour and liked the happy endings. Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne during this time.
Shakespeare's first play; Comedy of Errors
Shakespeare stopped playwriting because of the Plague
1592 - 1594
The playwriting stopped for two years, between 1592 and 1594, when the London playhouses had to close because of the plague - a disease which killed many thousands of people.
Shakespeare was described as an up-and-coming playwright and had already left his family to live in London
In terms of his career as a writer, historians are unsure of what Shakespeare did until 1592. It was this year that William was described as an up-and-coming playwright. By this time, Shakespeare had already left his family to live in London.
Shakespeare's second play; Titus Andronicus
England and Spain at war and Shakespeare wrote nine plays
1595 - 1604
Shakespeares plays made them feel proud about their country. During this time, Shakespeare wrote nine plays that had English history as their theme.
Shakespeare buys a house in Stratford-upon-Avon for his family
Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.
In the early 1600s, Shakespeare wrote the tragedies Hamlet, King Lear, Othello and Macbeth. Macbeth was written to please the new king who was from Scotland. Romeo and Juliet is also written during this period.
Shakespeare wrote plays set in Rome
The first play set in Rome was Julius Caesar, closely followed by Antony and Cleopatra.
King James I became new monarch and became the patron of Shakespeare's theatre company
24 March 1603
Queen Elizabeth I died on 24 March 1603. King James I became the new monarch. He also became the patron of Shakespeare's theatre company.
Shakespeare moved back to Stratford-upon-Avon after writing The Tempest
In 1611, after he wrote the play The Tempest, Shakespeare returned to live in Stratford-upon-Avon. He moved into a house he had bought for his family in 1597.