Hamlet Dramaturgy

Informing Bethany Lutheran College's Spring 2013 Production. Shows at: April 19, 20, 26, 27 at 7:30pm and April 21 at 2pm

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare!

Today is the 449th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth! Coincidentally it is also the 397th anniversary of his death! In celebration of both events, here are a few fun facts about Billy the Bard.

Most of them are about death.

Fact: William Shakespeare left his wife, Anne Hathaway the second best bed in his will. Super romantic for one of history’s greatest poets, right? Actually, the best bed in the house would have been the guest bed. So he was really leaving her their marriage bed. That’s better.

Fact: Shakespeare wrote his own epitaph. It was actually a curse on the gravediggers who might move his bones. It goes:

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.

Fact: On Shakespeare’s original gravemarker he was holding a bag of grain. Later this was changed to a quill.

Fact: Shakespeare is the second most quoted writer in the English language. The first being the writers (Writer) of the Bible.

FactHamlet has been translated into Klingon.

Fact: John and Mary Shakespeare (William’s parents) had seven children, five of which survived to adulthood.

Fact: Shakespeare became a poet because of the plague. When it struck London in 1592 the theatres closed down for two years! Shakespeare earned his living during that time by cranking out poetry.

Fact: This infographic shows how all the characters in Shakespeare’s tragedies die. My favorite is Titus Andronicus.

I hope you enjoyed the information and I’m sure I will see you all at the show this weekend!

Lydia Grabau, Dramaturg

Facts found through No Sweat Shakespeare, an online Shakespeare resource.

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4 comments on “Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare!

  1. mglilienthal
    April 24, 2013

    taH, pagh taHbe’!

  2. lissasassypants
    April 24, 2013

    Fact, bears eat beets. Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.

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This entry was posted on April 24, 2013 by in Notes from the Dramaturg, Shakespeare/Hamlet History and tagged , , , .

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