Remembering the bard: Interesting facts about William Shakespeare

Apr 23, 2016, 08:20 IST | A Correspondent

On the 400th death anniversary of 'The Immortal Bard' William Shakespeare, best known for his powerful plays like 'Hamlet', 'Macbeth', 'Othello', 'Romeo and Juilet' and many others, a look at some interesting and lesser known facts about the man...

>> Shakespeare's works including collaborations, consist of approximately 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship.

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

>> William Shakespeare was not celebrated and revered in his lifetime although he did enjoy a measure of popularity. Critics of his era rated him below contemporaries John Fletcher and Ben Jonson. This was between the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 and the end of the 17th century. He was particularly criticised for mixing tragedy with comedy.

>> Shakespeare was married to Anne Hathaway, who outlived him by by eight years. Anne shares her name with popular the Hollywood actress of the same, who is popular for her roles in the films, 'The Devil Wears Prada', 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'Interstellar', and many others. Hathaway was also 8 years older than husband Shakespeare.

William ShakespeareGoogle commemorated William Shakespeare's death anniversary with a doodle

>> William Shakespeare's plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

>> Shakespeare's actual date of birth remains unknown, but is traditionally observed on 26th April. This date, which can be traced back to an 18th-century scholar's mistake, has proved appealing to biographers, since Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616.

>> Shakespeare's first biographer Nicholas Rowe, recounted a legend that the bard fled for London to escape prosecution for deer poaching in the estate of local squire Thomas Lucy.

>> Another anecdotal account of William Shakespeare suggests he started his theatrical career minding the horses of theatre patrons in London.

>> Doubts began to be expressed about the authorship of the works attributed to Shakespeare's 230 years post his death. Proposed alternative candidates include Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.

>> In William Shakespeare's day, English grammar, spelling and pronunciation were less standardised than they are now and his use of language helped shape modern English.

>> In the world of theatre, it is believed that William Shakespeare's play, 'Macbeth' is cursed and as a result the actors and crew would not mention the play's name or the lead characters out loud.

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