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In February, JG Ballard and Malcolm Bradbury chose their writers of the Millennium: William Shakespeare and Dante. BBC News Online readers shared Malcolm Bradbury's view by voting overwhelmingly for William Shakespeare. Read your comments below.

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William Shakespeare
 
Born in 1564, William Shakespeare wrote or collaborated on about 38 plays. While modern scholars dispute the exact number of plays and squabble about who Shakespeare really was, his legacy is clear.
Plays like Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night and King Lear have changed the way we look at life. Shakespeare’s eloquent phrases have become an integral part of everyday English lexicon.
Your Top 10 Writers:
1. William Shakespeare
2. Jane Austen
3. George Orwell
4. Charles Dickens
5. Iain Banks
6. JRR Tolkien
7. James Joyce
8. Fyodor Dostoyevsky
9. Miguel Cervantes
10. Mark Twain
What you have said:
His works incite as much passion and excite the audience as much now as they must have when first performed at the Globe.
M A Hanning

The Bard re-invented the English language and elevated the art form of the play to the level it is today.
Tim Helbing

The debate as to whether Shakespeare is better read on the page or seen on the stage shows his skill in talking to the literate elite and the pop-culture of his day.
Anthony Zachary

His writings are deeply imbedded in our culture; he's probably quoted the most often by the most people.
Lucinda English

His use of words just make me melt inside, everyone at school thinks I'm mad and that I’m too young to read Shakespeare but I love the plays so much!
Sally Charlesworth

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