International Business Times reminds us that April 23 is William Shakespeare’s birthday. While the actual date of William Shakespeare’s birth is debatable, many believe he was born on April 23, 1564. That’s because he was baptized on April 26, 1564, and at that time babies were baptized three days after they were born. It is certain that Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616. Many people find it interesting that he was born and died on the same date 52 years apart.
William Shakespeare is considered to be the greatest writer of the English language. His writings are studied in almost every high school in the country. Romeo and Juliet seems to be the most popular for high school students.
According to the Washington Post, only four out of 52 schools researched require English majors to take a course about Shakespeare’s life and works. Those schools are Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, the U.S. Naval Academy, and Wellesley College.
Shakespeare’s plays are divided into three groups consisting of at least six histories, 10 tragedies, and 10 comedies. Besides Romeo and Juliet, his other well-known plays include Hamlet, Othello, and MacBeth. The play Double Falsehood was recently proven to have been written by Shakespeare, even though it doesn’t appear in literature books along with his other plays.
Shakespeare’s plays have been performed since they were first written, and they continue to become hit movies. While some of them are true to Shakespeare’s writings, some have been rewritten in a contemporary manner. Shakespeare is also well-known for his 154 sonnets.
People who have never taken a course in Shakespeare or know about his plays and sonnets use the bard’s words without realizing Shakespeare wrote them hundreds of years ago. The Independent provides a list of familiar quotes from William Shakespeare’s plays that people use almost daily.
The expression “fair play” is in Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest. Miranda used that expression to mean “fairness and justice” in a variety of contexts.
“In a pickle” means “being in a difficult position.” There were various references to pickles in the late 16th century, but William Shakespeare was one of the first to use “in a pickle” in The Tempest. Trinculo says,”I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last.”
Most people use the phrase “good riddance” to express relief when an annoyance disappears. In Shakespeare’s day, “riddance” meant “deliverance from” or “getting rid of.” Portia wishes the Prince of Morocco “a gentle riddance” in The Merchant of Venice.
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