William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon." His extant works include some collaboration, consisting of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
John Lotherington has written widely on Renaissance literature and history, including co-authored surveys of sixteenth-century Europe, Years of Renewal, and sixteenth-century England, The Tudor Years. He is at present a Program Director at the Salzburg Global Seminar.