UNUSUAL FACTS AND INTERESTING FACTS sponsored interesting links

Monday, September 22, 2008

Unusual Facts About Shakespeare

unusual facts about ShakespeareShakespeare... William Shakespeare, what other things can you think other than that of what you already know about this genius bard.

Well here are some unusual and interesting facts about William Shakespeare which you might want to know.


  • Shakespeare was buried in the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. He put a curse on anyone daring to move his body from that final resting place. His epitaph was:

    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.

    Though it was customary to dig up the bones from previous graves to make room for others, Shakespeare's remains are still undisturbed.

  • Shakespeare's works contain over 600 references to birds of all kinds, including the swan, bunting, cock, dove, robin, sparrow, nightingale, swallow, turkey, wren, starling, and thrush, just to name a few!

  • Few people realise that apart from writing thirty-seven plays and composing one hundred and fifty-four sonnets, Shakespeare was also an actor who performed many of his own plays as well as those of other playwrights, for example, Ben Jonson.

  • Richard II and King John are the only two Shakespearean plays containing no prose.

  • As an actor performing his own plays, Shakespeare performed before Queen Elizabeth I and later before James I who was an enthusiastic patron of his work

  • Macbeth is thought to be one of the most produced plays ever, with a performance beginning somewhere in the world every four hours!

  • London football club Tottenham were formed in 1882, and originally named after Harry Hotspur - one of Shakespeare's characters in Henry IV

  • Rodgers and Hart's popular musical, The Boys from Syracuse (first presented on Broadway in 1938) is based on Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.

  • Most academics agree that Shakespeare wrote his first play, Henry VI, Part One around 1589 to 1590 when he would have been roughly twenty-five years old. If you are thirteen you will think he was ancient but if you are twenty-six you will probably be thinking about where your life is going!

  • From 1788 to 1820, performances of King Lear were prohibited on the English Stage due to the insanity of the reigning monarch, King George III.

  • Shakespeare's life lasted for fifty-two years. It is known that he was born in April 1564 and that he died on 23rd April 1616. We know that he was baptised on 26th April 1564 and scholars now believe that he was born on April 23rd . He therefore died on his fifty-second birthday, coinciding with St George's Day. How fitting that the great English writer is so closely identified with the patron saint of England!

  • Shakespeare uses "dog" or "dogs" over two hundred times in his works. He also was the first writer to use the compound noun "watchdog", in The Tempest (1.2.390).

  • During his life, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets!

  • Shakespeare's primary source for The Winter's Tale was the prose romance "Pandosto", written in 1588 by Robert Greene. Incidentally, Greene's reference to Shakespeare in his autobiography, Greene's Groatsworth of Wit (1592), was the first literary reference to Shakespeare on record.

  • Shakespeare's friend and fellow actor, Richard Burbage, amazed and delighted audiences with his stirring interpretation of the outrageous villain, Richard III. On March 13, 1602, a lawyer and diarist named John Manningham recorded a now-famous anecdote about Shakespeare and Richard Burbage:

    "Upon a time when Burbage played Richard the Third there was a citizen grew so far in liking with him, that before she went from the play she appointed him to come that night unto her by the name of Richard the Third. Shakespeare, overhearing their conclusion, went before, was entertained and at his game ere Burbage came. Then, message being brought that Richard the Third was at the door, Shakespeare caused return to be made that William the Conqueror was before Richard the Third."

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