Happy 455th Birthday Will!
Today is Shakespeare’s birthday! William Shakespeare English poet, playwright and actor was born on April 23rd 1564* and he died April 23rd 1616** at the ripe old age of 52 (pretty good for his time!).
*There is no surviving official proof of his exact birthdate but he was baptised on the 26th April 1616 which suggests that today was his actual birthday.
**Shakespeare’s burial is officially recorded as the 27th April which also implies that today was the day we lost our greatest writer.
William Shakespeare lived in London at lodgings in Silver Street (he actually resided just a few yards down the road from where I live!—so I always feel close to the bard).
For England and St George!
Today is also St George’s Day—so I thought a quote from one of Shakespeare’s speeches from Henry V would be appropriate.
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you standing like greyhounds I n the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England and Saint George!’
William Shakespeare – Henry V
At the time Will Shakespeare lodged with the Mountjoys in Silver Street there was a virulent outbreak of the Plague. The theatres closed, and just like we are having to do today, Shakespeare had to stay indoors in quarantine to prevent getting the disease. During which time he wrote some of his best works (So, maybe we should think about writing another King Lear or something while we need to stay home!).
Marie Mountjoy, his landlady, died of the Plague during this period and Shakespeare left Silver Street shortly after this tragedy.
A very Happy Birthday to all who share William Shakespeare’s birthday on this day, St George’s Day!