Shakespeare Fun Facts

Shakespeare Fun Facts

In honor of Talk like Shakespeare Day, we have written a few fun facts about the famous English playwright William Shakespeare.

  1. The believed date for his birthday and death are both April 23.
  2. His gravestone has a curse on anyone who wants to disturb his grave.
  3. He is the world’s best-selling playwright with over 4 billion copies sold.
  4. In addition to his plays, he also wrote poems, most of which are sonnets.
  5. He is the third most translated author in history, behind Agatha Christie and Jules Verne.
  6. None of his original manuscripts remain, which brings us to the next Shakespeare fun fact:
  7. The First Folio, and thus the scripts for his plays, exist only due to the actors from his company.
  8. Shakespeare added 1700 words to the English language. This list includes the words bedroom, critic, manager, fashionable, and traditional.
  9. 20,000 pieces of music have links to his plays, including three Verdi operas.
  10. At age 18, he married Anne Hathaway who was 26.
  11. There are no current direct descendants from Shakespeare but there are many from his sister Joan.
  12. Only one of his seven siblings outlived him.
  13. His father John Shakespeare was granted a coat of arms, which makes a bit of a pun with the spear part of Shakespeare.
Shakespeare Fun Facts
  1. Many of the characters in his plays repeat, especially for the Histories, which brings us to the next Shakespeare fun fact:
  2. The character Bardolph appears in the most plays of any character. He appears in Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, Henry V, and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
  3. It is believed that Queen Elizabeth I loved the character Falstaff so much that she requested that Shakespeare write a play about him. He did so with the Merry Wives of Windsor. Hard to say no to the queen when she demands a play.
  4. The Queen was an active supporter of the theatre and considered to be one of the main reasons that Elizabethan theatre survived the Puritans. That didn’t mean that Shakespeare liked her, as he, unlike other playwrights at the time, didn’t write an elegy for her when she died.
  5. Four areas of great speculation on Shakespeare’s life focus on whether he actually wrote the plays, his religion, his love life, and what he actually looked like since he never commissioned a portrait.

Here were some fun facts about William Shakespeare, his life, and his legacy. This English playwright has influenced not only the English language but also the culture of the world.

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