William Shakespeare's Birthday

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2024 Date23 April 2024
2025 Date23 April 2025

William Shakespeare's Birthday

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William Shakespeare's Birthday History

William Shakespeare's Birthday honours the life and works of one of the world's greatest playwrights and poets. As an iconic figure in the English language, Shakespeare's contributions to literature, theatre, and the arts continue to be celebrated on this special day. Across the United Kingdom, numerous events are held to showcase his remarkable achievements and impact on the English-speaking world.

Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, in 1564, William Shakespeare has left an indelible mark on English history and culture. Regarded as England's national poet, he authored a total of 39 plays, 154 sonnets, and several narrative poems, earning him the title of the Bard of Avon. His works continue to captivate audiences and students alike, with their themes of love, power, and human nature resonating even today. For the people of the United Kingdom, celebrating Shakespeare's Birthday is an opportunity to pay tribute to a genius who played a significant role in shaping their nation's longstanding literary tradition.

In the United Kingdom, Shakespeare's Birthday is observed in various ways. There are performances of his plays and sonnets, as well as events focusing on scholarly discussions of his works. As the birthplace of Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon holds a distinctive annual festival that includes a parade, special performances, and workshops. The celebrations also extend to other parts of the country, where schools, local communities, and arts organisations pay homage to the Bard. William Shakespeare's Birthday is traditionally observed on April 23, which coincides with both his birth and death dates.

William Shakespeare's Birthday Facts

  • Shakespeare's work can be found in the school curriculums of about 65% of countries around the world.
  • Shakespeare influenced the English language more than any other writer in history. Some phrases and terms made common or popular include wild goose chase, (Romeo and Juliet), in a pickle, (The Tempest), and one fell swoop, (Macbeth).
  • It's said that in order to ward off grave robbers, Shakespeare wrote his own epitaph before passing. According to history.com, above Shakespeare's tomb it reads, Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, and cursed be he that moves my bones.
  • His exact birthdate is unknown, but it is traditionally celebrated on April 23, 1564, which is also the day he died in 1616.
  • Some scholars believe that Shakespeare didn't write all his plays alone, and there are theories suggesting collaboration with other playwrights.
  • He invented over 1,700 words in the English language, many of which are still in use today, such as "eyeball," "gossip," and "swagger."

William Shakespeare's Birthday Top Events and Things to Do

  • Visit Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, the home town of Shakespeare. Special pageants are held often as well as performances of Shakespeare's plays.
  • Read some of Shakespeare's work. Some of his most notable plays include Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth.
  • Watch a movie about Shakespeare. Here are our suggestions:
    All is True (2019)
    Anonymous (2011)
    A Waste of Shame (2005)
  • Read Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt.

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