William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) is the most influential writer in English history. Shakespeare has been called The Barb of Avon and England's national poet. There are 2 narrative poems, 154 sonnets and 38 plays in his collected works. He began work as an actor and writer in London first writing comedies and historic plays. He later wrote tragedies. Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Othello are some of his more famous plays. The Tempest is a romantic drama about a duke who is ousted from his throne and banished, with his daughter, to an enchanted island. He releases some spellbound spirits who help him to undo his usurper.