From the Cummings Study Guide:
William Shakespeare ranks as the most popular author in the English language. To his millions of admirers, he is also the greatest. Since his death in 1616, no other writer has surpassed his ability to capture the human soul in words, and no other writer has been more read, more written about, and more debated. Shortly after Shakespeare died, his esteemed contemporary Ben Jonson wrote of him, “He was not of an age, but for all time.” In 2000 British citizens voted him the Man of the Millenium—the most important earthling since 1000 A.D. ……. Down through the ages, important essayists, poets, dramatists, and critics have acclaimed Shakespeare as a virtuoso of unparalleled creative and technical skill. Bernard D. Grebanier observed: “One might succeed in discussing individual facets of Shakespeare’s unique genius, but it is utterly impossible to summarize his achievement. There is something miraculous about Shakespeare’s peculiar gifts; and every sensitive reader will eventually discover the miracle for himself” (English Literature and its Backgrounds, New York: Holt, 1950, Page 242).