Happy 451st Birthday Shakespeare!


26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616

In celebration of the world’s greatest playwrights birthday, here are some of my favourite Shakespeare factoids:

  • His works have been translated into every living language.
  • The search for clues about elusive Will’s life during the years of 1582-92, (the period between his marriage and emergence in London) has revealed only three documents that name him.
  • He coined the phrase ‘the beast with two back’s’ (in reference to sex,) within the play Othello.
  • The world’s most renowned writer never attended university.
  • Suicide occurs a superstitious 13 times throughout the Bards plays.
  • The Oxford English Dictionary credits him with coining almost 3,000 words.
  • Despite it having been customary for bones to be dug up to make room for new graves, Will’s have remained undisturbed. I imagine the curse he penned for his grave has had some influence:

Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here:
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.

‘This life, which had been the tomb of his virtue and of his honour, is but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’
William Shakespeare