The most memorable of English playwrights is either adored or despised, but he has undoubtedly found acceptance all over the world. Shakespeare found English Literature a child and left it a mature adult but, for many reasons, became boring to some of us. One of these reasons was the mere fact that “Shakespeare was born at Stratford-upon-Avon, wrote 37 plays, n number of sonnets and was buried at Holy Trinity Church”. How matter-of-fact, but how soporific!
It does not have to be this way, AT ALL! Shakespeare was more interesting than many of our English teachers might care to discuss, which is why our team of literature majors has taken it upon itself to introduce you to the other side of Shakespeare and his life!
Shakespeare did not care to name his plays
As famous as most of his plays are, the Bard couldn’t care less about christening them. As the story goes, Shakespeare did not have a name for his play, Twelfth Night, till the very last moment! The play was to be aired on the twelfth night post Christmas, so he just named it that. A similar thing happened with one of his most famous plays, Hamlet. There used to be a very famous play, named Ur Hamlet, written by an unknown author. Before Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, he saw the popularity of Ur Hamlet and, for publicity and fame, named his play Hamlet.
Shakespeare was an actor!
And a really good one at that. So good that he might have been one of the most famous actors of his times. Shakespeare was involved in many aspects of the theatre culture, including writing, acting and also having a share in a popular playhouse.
Could Shakespeare even spell his own name?
The fact that Shakespeare signed his own name in 6 different spellings has birthed many conspiracy theories, one of which is that Shakespeare might not even have written his own plays. Curious people have concluded that he commissioned a group of writers to write plays, and named himself the author. Another theory says that Shakespeare might not have existed at all, that he is just a pseudonym a group of playwrights might be using. What is true? No one can tell. All we know is that this seems a little fishy.
Shakespeare wrote sonnets only because of a plague
Shall I compare three to a summer’s day?
Shall I write sonnets because of a plague?
The plague did not allow for stage-adaptations of plays, so Shakespeare turned to poetry, namely, the sonnet, to write and make a living.
Many moons have been named after Shakespearean characters!
It’s not just Earth where Shakespeare is famous; he’s also very, very famous on Uranus. Many Uranus moons have been named after the characters developed by Shakespeare: Juliet, Ophelia, Peedita, and 22 more!
Shakespeare died on his birthday
What kind of luck do you have to have to die on the day you were born? What fate, really?Shakespeare was born on April 23rd, and this is the very day he died on, 52 years later.
And he cursed everyone who might try to move his bones
Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.
That’s what his epitaph says, which is why his grave has been untouched for around 250 years now. Call Sam and Dean, someone!
And even though he was really rich, he left his wife only a bed
And not even his best one. Only the second best, along with ‘furniture’. What exactly, was this furniture? Bed spreads. Wonder what she did to be on his bad side, huh?
There are many more fun facts and speculations that make Shakespeare interesting, but we are leaving you here to do your own research!
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