Today (April 23, 2016) is the 400th anniversary of the death of one of the most important playwrights of all time, William Shakespeare. The works of Shakespeare have resonated with individuals worldwide, perhaps because we can all relate to the common themes of his works. From trying to understand the complexity of life to falling in love, the Bard perfectly captured the human experience in every one of his works. Especially in the English-speaking world, Shakespeare has become a staple for any literature lover and has found a special place among libraries, public and personal alike. Personally, his words inspired my love of literature and my choice to major in English literature (along with taking way more Shakespeare courses than necessary). Every October I re-read Macbeth and my fiance always keeps a copy of The Tempest in his car, re-reading it several times a year. Yet, each time, we reach a different conclusion, exemplifying how Shakespeare brilliantly constructed his works to reach the audience at all points in their lives. Perhaps, we all can relate to his characters as well. From his feminine heroines (Viola being one of my personal favorites) to his love-struck heroes, we can all find one character that captures our hearts. Not to mention, his genius wordplay is still amusing to this day.
As much as we know about the works of Shakespeare, there are several things we don't know about the man himself. We don't know his exact birthday (although we can guess: he was baptized April 26). There are few written records regarding his education or what may have shaped his future writing. Nonetheless, this man who we know very little about has captured hearts worldwide.
So how do we celebrate this timeless playwright? Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Reading your favorite work
2. Exploring Shakespeare's life
For younger readers:
3. Watching your favorite play
I also recommend seeing Shakespeare performed live. Check your local theater to see if any performances will be taking place this weekend.
4. Watching a modern-day interpretation
5. Wearing your love for the Bard
6. Having fun with some novelty Shakespeare items
Still can't get enough? Check out these links:
For more Shakespeare-inspired products, check out THE BARD (ALL THINGS SHAKESPEARE).