William Shakespeare, born in 1564 in Stratford, is widely regarded as the greatest English language writer of all time and the world's per-eminent dramatist. He wrote or co-wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems and a few other verses. Shakespeare was a man of the theater: he was a successful actor in London and part-owner of a playing company, which was awarded a royal patent by the new King James I, and known as “The King's Men”. In 1599, the company built their own theater named the Globe. Some years after quitting his acting career, Shakespeare died suddenly aged 52. Very little is known about Shakespeare's private life. He was married and had three children. His family life, religious beliefs, sexuality, and also authorship of the works attributed to him, are the subject of many speculations. The new quality introduced by the Bard of Avon to the genre of drama was an exploration into not the action, but the characters and their minds. His works made a lasting impression on later theater, literature, and poetry. Four centuries after his death his plays are still highly popular, studied, performed and adapted into movies or other forms of art. For example, scholars have identified 20,000 pieces of music linked to Shakespeare's works.