The Arts

Interesting Facts About Shakespeare

Interesting Facts About Shakespeare

We know that William Shakespeare is the beloved Bard not only in England but of the rest of the world. But little of us know the other interesting facts about Shakespeare. You may not believe that some other people think he didn’t exist! But apart from that, here are the other less known but more interesting, juicy information about William Shakespeare that you probably didn’t know!

Shakespeare_lastplay

The play, a Jacobean comedy which is thought to have been written with another playwright John Fletcher, was finally published in 1634 — eighteen years after his death. Its plot was derived from Chaucer’s The Cantebury Tales‘ first tale “The Knight’s Tale.”

shakespeare_family

Shakespeare and Hathaway wed when he was 18 and she was 26 or 27 years old. They had three children together: Susanna Hall (baptized in 1583 – died 1649), their only son Hamnet Shakespeare (baptized 1585 – died 1596), and Judith Quiney (baptized 1585 – died 1662), Hamnet’s fraternal sister. Hamnet died at the age of eleven possibly due to bubonic plague.

Shakespeare_death

Some historians suggest that this will was a result of an agreement made at the time Susanna married the physician Dr. John Hall, that the couple would inherit the majority of Shakespeare’s estate. In the same will, Shakespeare’s will he famously made only one inheritance to his wife Anne Hathaway, his “second-best bed with the furniture.”

Shakespeare_bapisted

Shakespeare’s actual birthday is still unknown, but historians imply that he was baptized when he was three days old, so his birthday could have been 23rd April. This would be especially interesting as Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, the supposed day he turned 52.

Shakespeare_actor

A lot of people that Shakespeare wrote plays and sonnets. However, few people realize that he also acted on his own plays, as well as plays written by other playwrights. According to tradition, Shakespeare played a ghost of Hamlet’s father. During the last years of his life Shakespeare was still working as an actor apart from being a poet and playwright.

Shakespeare_wife

There are theories placed by historians that Shakespeare was forced by Hathaway’s family to marry her because of her premarital pregnancy, apart from the age difference. However, there is no evidence whether the marriage was a “shotgun wedding” or not. The couple bore three children, who have been mentioned earlier in this gallery.

Shakespeare_usa

A wealthy American businessman named Eugene Schieffelin, who was a Shakespeare fanatic, wanted to import each species of bird mentioned in Shakespeare’s works, as a way of introducing them to The United States. Part of his rather unusual endeavor included releasing 60 starlings into Central Park in New York City.

The release of the starlings turned out to be successful — however, these birds have become somewhat of a pest. But the release of other birds such as bullfinches and nightingales was not as successful as that of the starlings.

Shakespeare_thecomedyoferrors

The Comedy of Errors is Shakespeare’s shortest play with 1,787 lines and 14,369 words (although some sources cite 16,258 words). The average length of a play during the Elizabethan era was 3,000 lines.

Shakespeare_spelling

There are over 80 recorded variations of the Bard’s name. Apart from the “William Shakespeare” we know today, there are such other variations gathered from the few extant signatures. Shakespeare signed his name in other different forms such as “Willm Shakp,” “Wm Shakspe,” “Willm Shakspere,” or “William Shakespe.” However, there are no records of him of signing his name in the complete “William Shakespeare,” just yet.

Shakespeare_sonnets

There are 37 plays and 154 credited to Shakespeare. It means that he averaged about 1.5 plays per year since 1589, the year when he began writing.

Shakespeare_rsc

And that’s only for their theaters in parts of England — in London, Newcastle, and Stratford-upon-Avon. An estimated 50,000 audience watch a live Shakespeare performance, most of them first-timers who are introduced to Shakespearean plays. Overall the Royal Shakespeare Company has sold about 1.7 million tickets worldwide.

Shakespeare_parents

John Shakespeare was the son of a farmer Richard Shakespeare while Mary Shakespeare (nee Arden) belonged to an aristocratic family. John was an alderman and also a successful glove-maker.

Shakespeare is everyone’s idea of a literary genius. But the surprising thing about the Bard’s parents is that neither of them could read or write. John used a glovers compass and Mary a running horse as each of their own signatures. William Shakespeare’s own children are thought to have been illiterate as well, although his eldest child Susanna could print her own signature.

Shakespeare_nobodyknows

To the disappointment of historians and biographers, nothing much has been actually recorded about Shakespeare’s years between 1585 and 1592, which scholars refer to as his “lost years.” So his biographers and historians have been coming up with those stories surrounding Shakespeare in his seven “lost years.” They have speculated that Shakespeare was employed as a schoolteacher or studied law. There is another legend that Shakespeare fled his hometown for London to avoid a lawsuit after he poached a deer in the estate of a local politician.

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