National Shakespeare Day is celebrated all over the world on April 23 and we are getting ready to enjoy the day in the best possible way — by watching his popular plays, talking like his characters, and even trying to dress in attire from that era! Did you know, William Shakespeare is one of the very rare individuals who was born and died on the same date, i.e., April 23?
History of Shakespeare Day
William Shakespeare’s birth date was never officially recorded as it was not the norm in that era. However, he was said to have been baptized on April 26, 1964. Owing to this, people from all over the world have considered April 23 as his date of birth. Also, the Bard of Avon passed away on the same date he was born, i.e., April 23, 1616.
William Shakespeare has contributed much to the English language. Many of the words in today’s times have their origin in Shakespeare’s plays and poems. Over the years, William Shakespeare’s popularity kept growing in English literature and, in modern times, people started looking for a day to celebrate his genius. And there’s no better day to celebrate him than on April 23!
National Shakespeare Day gets its first mention as an idea of Robert J. Williamson, the artistic director of the British Shakespeare Company. Soon after, the day became more known among the masses and, now, it’s one day that we are reminded of enjoying and appreciating the genius of William Shakespeare. National Shakespeare Day receives support from many government ministries in the United Kingdom.
Nowadays, many countries from across the globe have started commemorating April 23 as National Shakespeare Day. It might not be an official holiday, but it ensures that we remember the greatness of the timeless Bard of Avon
Shakespeare Day timeline
William Shakespeare is born on this day at Stratford-upon-Avon
William Shakespeare gets hitched to Anne Hathaway at the age of 18.
William Shakespeare becomes a successful actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company in London.
William Shakespeare departs this world, leaving behind a permanent legacy in the form of his writing.
Shakespeare Day FAQs
Was Shakespeare’s birth and death on the same day?
Yes, historians believe Shakespeare was born on April 23, in 1564, and died on the same date in 1616.
What are some of the most popular plays of William Shakespeare?
“The Taming of the Shrew”, “As You Like It”, “Twelfth Night”, “Hamlet”, “Othello”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Richard II”, “Richard III”, “Henry V” are some of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.
How did Shakespeare die?
Even to date, William Shakespeare’s death is shrouded in mystery. Many historians speculate that he was murdered after he was coming out of a pub in a drunken state, while others believe he died of syphilis.
Shakespeare Day Activities
Attend special performances of plays
Every year on Shakespeare Day, a special pageant is held at his birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon. People from all over the world attend performances of Shakespeare’s plays here throughout the day.
Learn more about Shakespeare
If going to Stratford-upon-Avon is not in your means, then you can spend the day at least trying to read books, plays, and poems by the Bard. There’s no better way to enhance your knowledge of his works than by reading them on National Shakespeare Day! Why not take a few hours out of your rigorous workday to celebrate this beloved playwright?
Talk like Shakespeare
Many people all over the globe celebrate the day by talking like Shakespeare. People usually try to replace their normal language with Shakespearean insults. If anything, you can at least substitute your usual ‘you’ and ‘they’ with ‘thou’, ‘thee,’ and ‘ye’.
5 Lesser-Known Facts About Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s gift to the English language
As credited by the Oxford English Dictionary, William Shakespeare introduced almost 3,000 words to the English language.
Shakespeare’s grave is penned with a curse
William Shakespeare’s epitaph reads a curse, daring anyone to move his body.
Shakespeare’s fancy for suicide
Suicide occurs 13 times in all of William Shakespeare’s plays, which is one of the reasons why the number 13 is considered unlucky.
Shakespeare’s shortest and longest plays
“The Comedy of Errors” is William Shakespeare’s shortest play with 1,787 lines and “Hamlet” is his longest play with 4,042 lines.
Shakespeare’s disappearance in history
Between 1585 and 1592 there exist no records of William Shakespeare’s life.
Why We Love Shakespeare Day
William Shakespeare is a part of world literature
William Shakespeare has left an indelible mark in world literature. His innumerable gifts to the English language should be acknowledged by the world every year. Or, at least, on this particular day of the year.
Talking like Shakespeare is fun
Talking in the language used by William Shakespeare in his plays and poems is quite fun. We have all read it at some point or another during our school days. Why not get nostalgic one day in the year and remember those fun days of learning Shakespearean plays.
Learning life lessons
William Shakespeare’s plays have stories that hold true, even in today’s times. Even after almost 500 years of his plays being published, the stories and concepts used are still relevant in today’s day-to-day life
Shakespeare Day dates