Whilst the actual date of Shakespeare's birth is not known, historians believe that he was born on or around April 23rd 1564, we know from church records that he was baptised in the Holy Trinity Church on 26th April 1564. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, William was the third child of John Shakespeare, a glove maker and leather merchant, and Mary Arden, a local heiress. Shakespeare's early life is shrouded in mystery but we know that he married Anne Hathaway in 1582 in Worcester - and what then follows are the "lost years" when little is known of Shakespeare's whereabouts. It is believed that he went to London in the late 1580's and was certainly part of the theatre scene. By the early 1590s, documents show William Shakespeare was a managing partner in the Lord Chamberlain's Men, an acting company in London.
My favourite Shakespeare
~ Antony and Cleopatra, Act 2, Scene II The House of Lepidus ~
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Burn'd on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description: she did lie
In her pavilion--cloth-of-gold of tissue--
O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature: on each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did.
~ A Midsummer's Nights Dream, Act 2, Scene I ~
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
~ The Merchant of Venice, Act 2, Scene VII ~
All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscroll'd:
Fare you well; your suit is cold.
Cold, indeed; and labour lost:
Then, farewell, heat, and welcome, frost!
Portia, adieu. I have too grieved a heart