Shakespeare Day 2020: Lesser-known facts, famous quotes by the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare

One of the most prolific and iconic writers in the English language and also the world’s greatest dramatist, William Shakespeare was born this day in 1564. UNESCO also marked this day as World Book and Copyright Day.
Shakespeare Day 2020: Lesser-known facts, famous quotes by the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare.(Instagram)
Shakespeare Day 2020: Lesser-known facts, famous quotes by the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare.(Instagram)
Updated on Apr 23, 2020 09:14 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Delhi | By Saumya Sharma

One of the most prolific and iconic writers in the English language and also the world’s greatest dramatist, William Shakespeare was born this day in 1564. He is popularly called the Bard of Avon since he was born and raised in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire. Shakespeare’s birth date, however, is highly debatable as he is said to have been baptised on April 26, 1564, and born on April 23, which also coincides with his death date (as per the Julian calendar).

Fans and book lovers worldwide celebrate Shakespeare Day on April 23 every year to honour the literary genius, William Shakespeare. UNESCO also marked this day as World Book and Copyright Day back in 1995 and celebrates each year with a new theme in a newly chosen World Book Capital every year.

Lesser-known facts about the Bard of Avon

* Shakespeare introduced approximately 2000 words to the English language (estimations are anywhere close to 1700 and above). The Oxford dictionary credits him with having introduced 3000 words to the English language including Addiction, Belongings, Swagger, Uncomfortable, Dishearten, Bedazzled and more.

* April 23 is also known as National Talk Like Shakespeare Day and was started by the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2009. Spend this day substituting you and they with ‘thou, thee and ye’; end your verbs with ‘eth’ (like bringeth, runneth, sayeth) and start your sentences with ‘methinks, wherefore’ when conversing with someone on Talk Like Shakespeare Day. It’s also a brush-up of your ol’ English skills.

* Shakespeare’s epitaph reads a curse, daring anyone to move his body. It reads:

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.

* The word ‘suicide’ appears 13 times in Shakespeare’s plays out of approximately 39 plays written by Shakespeare: 13, considered an unlucky number, is the number of characters who died by committing suicide in Shakespeare’s plays, most famous ones being the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.

* Shakespeare’s shortest play is The Comedy of Errors at 1787 lines and 14,369 words; the longest is Hamlet at 4,042 lines and 29,551 words.

* Nobody has an account of Shakespeare’s life between the years 1585 and 1592. Some assume he worked as a school teacher while others believe he studied law, travelled across the globe or joined an acting troupe.

* An independent bookstore by the name of Shakespeare & Co. has been running in Paris since 1919, that makes it a century-old.

* Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a restored 16th-century half-timbered house situated in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, where William Shakespeare is believed to have been born and raised. It is now a small museum open to the public and a popular visitor attraction, owned and managed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Read on for 15 famous quotes by Shakespeare, spoken by the characters he drew:

* “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

— Hamlet in Hamlet

* “From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive:

They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;

They are the books, the arts, the academes,

That show, contain, and nourish all the world.”

— Berowne in Love’s Labor’s Lost

* “All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts.”

— Jaques in As You Like It

* “This above all: to thine ownself be true.

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

— Polonius in Hamlet

* “For your brother and my sister no sooner

met, but they looked; no sooner looked, but they

loved; no sooner loved, but they sighed; no sooner

sighed, but they asked one another the reason; no

sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy.”

— Rosalind in As You Like It

* “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

— Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

* “Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,

Men were deceivers ever;

One foot in sea, and one on shore,

To one thing constant never.”

— Balthazar in Much Ado About Nothing

* “I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?”

— Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing

* “Men at some time are masters of their fates:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

— Cassius in Julius Caesar

* “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

— Malvolio in Twelfth Night

* “Come what come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day.”

— Macbeth in Macbeth

* “Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.”

— Dauphin in Henry V

* “Our doubts are traitors,

And make us lose the good we oft might win,

By fearing to attempt.”

— Lucio in Measure for Measure

* “The miserable have no other medicine, but only hope.”

— Claudio in Measure for Measure

* “Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides:

Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.”

— Cordelia in King Lear

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Monday, October 18, 2021