In the winter, snows were heavy. Most of the planet was fertile and could support grass and plant life.
As it was previously inhabited by Formics, the planet still contained the remnants of Formic cities, orchards, and factories. Rather than abandon the infrastructure already in place, the human colonists utilized the sewers, factories, and plowed fields for their own use.
Like other conquered Formic worlds, Shakespeare was originally settled by surviving International Fleet foot soldiers and ship crew of the fleets near the planet. However, as the ratio between males and females was 10:1, most of the original settlers were not allowed to reproduce. Normal gender ratios were restored within two generations, however.
The settlement was originally called Colony I, a placeholder name from the International Fleet. The name Tempest, after the play by William Shakespeare was proposed and subsequently rejected, opting for the last name of its author.
Ender Wiggin became the governor of the planet about 40 years after the War of Xenocide. It became the first formally established colony of humans, and was where the Formics took the memory of Fairyland from the Mind Game and recreated the environment. They placed the last Hive Queen cocoon on the planet, hoping that Ender would take care of it. After a few years as governor, Ender left the planet with his sister Valentine.
- Shakespeare was named after the English playwright William Shakespeare.