|"Is this all real? Or has this been happening inside my head?"
The subject of this article is a real-life person, group, company, product, or creative work that has been mentioned "in-universe" in a canon source. The Harry Potter Wiki is written from the perspective that all information presented in canon is true (e.g., Hogwarts really exists), and, as such, details contained in this article may differ from real world facts.
William Shakespeare (23 April, 1564—23 April, 1616) was a Muggle poet and playwright who wrote As You Like It, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Coriolanus, among many others. He lived during Elizabethan times in southern England, when Muggles as a whole were prejudiced against wizards and witches and often organised massive witchhunts, partly inspired by regal paranoia.
Behind the scenes
- The lyrics of Something Wicked This Way Comes, as heard in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, were taken from Shakespeare's Macbeth. Thus, Shakespeare is credited with the lyrics. Additionally, Harry Potter series author J. K. Rowling has stated "I absolutely adore Macbeth. It is possibly my favourite Shakespeare play."
- In the 2011 film Anonymous, Shakespeare is portrayed by Rafe Spall, son of Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew). In this film Shakespeare is portrayed as a drunken, inarticluate buffoon, and a fraud. The film identifies Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, as the true author of Shakespeare's alleged works. de Vere is portrayed in the film by Jamie Campbell Bower (Gellert Grindelwald) as a young man and Rhys Ifans (Xenophilius Lovegood) as an older man. David Thewlis (Remus Lupin) plays William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley. Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Roger Davies) appears as a bear baiter.
- In 2011 Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort) made his directorial debut with a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare's Coriolanus, in which he also played the title role.
- J. K. Rowling has referred to the Harry Potter Encyclopedia as "The Scottish Book" which is a reference to Shakespeare's play Macbeth, which is sometimes referred to as "The Scottish Play". 
- Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) and Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney) both appear in Branagh's 1989 adaptation of Henry V, which also features Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid) as Falstaff in a cameo appearance.
- In the 1996 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Branagh plays the title character Hamlet, Ray Fearon (Firenze) plays Francisco, Timothy Spall (Wormtail) plays Rosencrantz, and Julie Christie (Rosmerta) plays Gertrude. Branagh, also, was portrays characters in other Shakespeare films -- Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick) and Othello (Iago), for example.
- In Much Ado About Nothing, Thompson plays Beatrice, Benedick's love interest. This is ironic, as Branagh and Thompson were actually married at the time. Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge) also makes an appearance in this film as Margaret.
- In the 1990 film adaptation of Hamlet, Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) plays Ophelia.
- Both Branagh and Spall return in Love's Labour's Lost, as Berowne and Don Armado respectively.
- In the 1965 adaptation of Othello, where Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) made his film debut, Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall) plays Desdemona. Gambon also made his TV debut in a Shakespeare work, Much Ado About Nothng. Smith returned to Shakespeare thirty years later, in Richard III.
- In the 2009 adaptation of Hamlet, David Tennant (Bartemius Crouch, Jr) stars as the title character, Hamlet.
- Ralph Fiennes (Tom Riddle) acted in several stage productions of Shakespeare's work, including A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet.
- In the TV miniseries adaptation of Julius Caesar, Richard Harris (Dumbledore) plays Lucius Sulla. It should be noted that this was one of the last few films of Harris before his death.
- Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) made his film debut in the 1978 film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.
The name "William" comes from the Germanic name Willahelm, which was composed of the elements wil "will, desire" and helm "helmet, protection".
- J.K. Rowling's Official Site (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Mentioned on a poster)
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Appears as statue)