English playwright and poet whose works are noted for their exceptional verbal wit, psychological depth, and emotional range. His plays include historical works such as Richard II ; comedies, including Much Ado about Nothing ; and tragedies, such as Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear. He also composed 154 sonnets. The earliest collected edition of his plays, the First Folio, contained 36 plays and was published posthumously (1623).
- Shake·spear′e·an Shake·spear′i·an
purported portrait by
Louis Coblitz (1814-1863)