Born in Stratford, England in 1564, William Shakespeare, one of the world's greatest writers, wrote more than 35 plays encompassing comedy, history and tragedies. His plays, each containing vivid characters of all types and from many walks of life, have been a vital part of the theatre in the Western world since they were written some 400 years ago. The tragedy of a self-centred King whose treachery causes his own destruction. King Richard II was an inept and incompetent King who could not fend off his enemies in Ireland without the unity and support of his English noblemen. Yet he makes an enemy of the influential Bolingbroke, his own cousin, by seizing his property. Bolingbroke, leading an army of discontented English noblemen, rebels against Richard, who succumbs and is imprisoned where he meets his death as Bolingbroke is crowned King Henry IV.