William Shakespeare was an English playwright, lyricist and actor. His comedies and tragedies are among the most important stage plays in world literature and are the most frequently performed and filmed. The surviving complete works include 38 (according to another counting 37) dramas, epic verse poems and 154 sonnets. Shakespeare is considered one of the most important poets in world literature. Most of Shakespeare's works were written between 1589 and 1613. His early plays are mostly comedies and chronicles, in which Shakespeare excelled considerably. Then came his period of tragedies, including Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth, which are considered some of the best in the English language. Toward the end of his career, Shakespeare wrote several tragicomedies and also collaborated with other writers.