Now, 446 years later, on the day his birth is observed, his impact is still timeless and his work continues to transcend to modern-day society from Broadway to the box office.
Shakespeare's alluring themes of betrayal, lust and love have appealed to Hollywood and have been played out on the big screen with over 250 adaptations.
Some of the more recent Shakespearean-influenced films include:
• "Hamlet" (1990), starring Mel Gibson, Glen Close and Helena Bonham Carter
• "Romeo + Juliet" (1996), starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes.
• "Hamlet" (1996), starring Kenneth Branagh, Richard Attenborough, Judi Dench, Billy Crystal and Kate Winslet.
• "Twelfth Night" (1996), starring Helena Bonham Carter, Nigel Hawthorne, Ben Kingsley, Imogen Stubbs and Mel Smith.
• "Looking for Richard" (1996), directed by Al Pacino.
• "Shakespeare in Love" (1998), starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Geoffrey Rush and Judi Dench.
• "10 Things I Hate About You" (1999), starring Julia Stiles and Heather Ledger (based on "The Taming of the Shrew").
• "A Midsummer's Night's Dream" (1999), starring Calista Flockhart and Michelle Pfiffer.
• "Love's Labour's Lost" (2000), directed by Kenneth Branagh.
• "Hamlet" (2000), starring Ethan Hawke, Julia Stiles, Kyle MacLachlan.
• "O" (2001), starring Julia Stiles, Mekhi Phifer, Josh Hartnett and Andrew Keegan (based on "Othello").
Today, many devoted fans around the world are celebrating what is believed to be the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth in 1564. The date his birth is observed on is also the day of his death - he died on April 23, 1616, at the age of 52.
In England, Shakespeare's final resting place is due to be lit up in celebration of the bard's birthday and St George's Day, the BBC reports.
The celebrations coincide with the 800th anniversary of the building of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, where he is buried. Holy Trinity's spire will be illuminated later and the bells will also ring out in celebration.
In Portland, Maine, former Maine schoolteacher Walter Skold, who founded the Dead Poets Society of America will kick off his 22-state "Dead Poets Grand Tour 2010," which includes a visit to the graves of fallen bards.
He also hopes to create a Dead Poets Remembrance Day on Oct. 7 (the day Edgar Allan Poe died).