William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April, 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He died on April 23, 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. 

A. R. Braunmuller is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has written critical volumes on George Peele and George Chapman and has edited plays in both the Oxford (King John) and Cambridge (Macbeth) series of Shakespeare editions. He is also general editor of The New Cambridge Shakespeare. 

Stephen Orgel is the Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of the Humanities at Stanford University and general editor of the Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture. His books include Imagining ShakespeareThe Authentic ShakespeareImpersonations: The Performance of Gender in Shakespeare’s England and The Illusion of Power.