Here is an original and exciting guide to the daily life, heady successes, and remarkable works of a talented playwright. Spectacular full-color photographs of costumes, jewels, sackbuts, violas, trapdoors, and actors offer a unique "eyewitness" view of William Shakespeare, his patrons at the royal court, and the birth of modern theater in Europe. See Shakespeare's family homes and haunts, famous Elizabethan actors and playwrights, an amazing cutaway reconstruction of Shakespeare's Globe Theater, how actors faked a beheaded body. Learn where Shakespeare found his best sources of inspiration, why heroines were played by boy actors, why players needed a protector, how to stage a swordfight, who stinkards were. Discover how fashion-conscious people dressed, how Elizabethans performed startling stage effects, friends and foes in cutthroat London, the highlights of Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies, Roman plays, history plays, and romances, and much, much more.