Do you love stories? Today is William Shakespeare’s birthday, and to launch my new blog and website, I thought it would be fun to get a glimpse into the life of perhaps the greatest storyteller, poet, and playwright in history.
There are no actual records of his birth, so Shakespeare’s April 23rd birthday is mere speculation. However, a record exists of his baptism on April 26, 1564 in England’s Stratford-upon-Avon, so historians chose April 23rd as his probable birth date. He married Anne Hathaway when he was 18 and she was 26. The couple had three children; Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet died at the age of 11 of an unknown cause. Shakespeare died on his own birthday, April 23rd, at the age of 52.
Scholars agree that Shakespeare wrote 37 plays, and may have written a few others, dealing with every emotion and condition known to man. He wrote hundreds of poems and sonnets, and is credited with adding over a thousand words to the English language. Hundreds of lines from his plays have worked their way into everyday use, including: “all that glitters is not gold”, “with one fell swoop”, “a foregone conclusion”, “dead as a doornail”, “it’s Greek to me”, and “send him packing."
Back to the title of this post – Why Shakespeare and me? Well, I happen to share a birthday with the Bard himself. As a writer, I like to think that having a birthday in common with him has to mean something. Not that anything I write will still be quoted 400 years from now, but maybe April 23rd is a good day for a writer to be born.
Do you share a birthday with someone famous? Please send me a comment and tell me who it is, and/or the name of your favorite Shakespearean play. Thanks!