OTD: The Birth and Death of Shakepeare

On this day (or a day close to it), the famous English playwright William Shakespeare was born. Unfortunately the exact date is unknown but the 23rd is the date celebrated around the world. The house where he was supposedly born still exists and I saw it (exterior only) when I visited Stratford-upon-Avon in September 2019. The city is a treasure house of all things Shakespeare and I had intended to revisit the city this year but Covid-19 put a spanner in my works and I am not going anywhere.

Shakespeare’s father John lived and worked here from 1551, and he married Mary Arden in 1557 and had eight children of which William was the third. William inherited the house, as the eldest surviving child, on John’s death in 1601. 

There is a nice blogpost at Heritage Calling that deals with Shakespeare’s Life through buildings that is worth looking at, and I know I am going to hunt down some of them when next I am in Stratford-upon-Avon. 

By some strange co-incidence William Shakespeare died on or close to his birthday in April 1616. The parish register states that he was buried on 25 April 1616, but it is likely that he was not buried on the day he died. He is buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the inscription on his grave reads:

Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.

The grave of William Shakespeare

There are 5 graves beyond the railing and the first two on the left are of Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare (1556-1623) and next to her is the grave of William Shakespeare (1564-1616).  The other graves are of his daughter Suzanna, son-in-law Dr John Hall and Thomas Nash, his grandson-in-law. 

There is no doubt that Shakespeare played a major role in the development of the English language, and he is probably one of the most disliked playwrights that are studied in schools. Alas, poor Shakespeare, I knew him well… 

DRW © 2020 Created 23/04/2020. 

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