He wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets and several narrative poems. Shakespeare’s influence on the English language is unmatched. This year all the world's his stage with an explosion of events to celebrate his 450th birthday.
In Paris, the Bard-en-Seine festival is on with a production of Macbeth set during World War One as the centrepiece.
The director, Cressida Brown, and the main actor, Florian Hutter, join Eve Jackson in the studio to talk about the relevance of Shakespeare in 2014, the role of women in his work and how the violence in his plays can cause audiences to pass out.