What You Should Know About Shakespeare

shakespeare. Image: © Davehanlon / Adobe Stock

23 April 1564 - 23 April 1616

To mark this 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, we present some interesting facts about this most famous playwright.

1. Shakespeare’s father was paid to drink beer at one point of his life.

2. Shakespeare married an older woman (Anne Hathway) who was three months pregnant with Shakespeare’s child. William was only 18 years old at that time and Anne was 26.

3. There are no records of Shakespeare's life between 1585 to 1592.

4. Shakespeare, who is one of the literature’s greatest figures, never attended university.

5. It is difficult to truly pronounce Shakespeare's name since some called him “Shappere”, “Willm Shaksp”, “William Shakespe”, “Wm Shakspe”, “William Shakspere”, ”Willm Shakspere”,  “William Shakspeare”,  “Shaxberd” awifeany more. In total, about eighty variations recorded in spellings of his name.

6. Shakespeare was a father of twins: a boy named Hamnet and a girl, Judith. Shakespeare and his wife, Anne Hathaway, had a total of three children, including daughter Susana, and the twins, Hamnet and Judith.

7. Shakespeare wrote his first poem in 1593; it was called “Venus and Adonis”.

8. Shakespeare lived through the Black Death. This epidemic killed over 33,000 people when Shakespeare was 39.

9. Shakespeare wrote the first recorded use of the word, “assassination”.

10. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets and thirty-seven poems. None of his plays were ever published during his lifetime. What we know today is only because of his fellow actors John Hemminges and Henry Condell, who recorded his work in 1623. The first ever performance of his plays took place in 1623.

11. Females were not allowed to act in plays of Shakespeare's time. Hence, other male actors were required to act the female roles in his plays.

12. William also performed his own plays as an actor. He once performed one of his plays in front of Queen Elizabeth I. Other roles he played included the ghost in Hamlet and Adam in As You Like It.

13. He was a wealthy man with a large property portfolio and was known as a great businessman of his time.

14. On his death, he gave all his wealth to his daughter Susana with several other gifts to his loved ones. He mentioned his wife only once in his will by saying “I gyve unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture”. He made his will on 26th March 1616.

15. Shakespeare died in 1616 with the words “Curst be he that moves my bones” written on his grave.

Image: © Davehanlon | Adobe Stock


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