Not much is known about William Shakespeare’s life because his life was not really well-documented. Whatever we know about him now are just fragments of history collected over years of research by scholars and interested people across the globe. So, in this article of 30 William Shakespeare facts, we will go through some of the most interesting facts about him. But, we need to say that this list will not be complete. We will create a separate article for covering the remaining facts. So, let us begin…
William Shakespeare Facts: 1-5 | Name and Birth Date
1. There are [highlight]80 different variations of name of Shakespeare[/highlight]. All these variations are recorded. There are a couple of weird variations like “Shaxberd and Shappere”.
2. Of all the signatures that Shakespeare had penned down with his own hands, only a few remain today. None of those signatures have the spelling ‘William Shakespeare’. Those that he himself used include:
- William Shakspere.
- Wm Shakspe.
- Willm Shaksp.
- Willm Shakspere.
- William Shakspeare.
3. [highlight]No one knows the exact date of birth of William Shakespeare. It is however considered to be April 23, 1564 as per old Julian Calendar that preceded the Gregorian Calendar.[/highlight]
4. How is the date of birth derived if the birth date was not known? Nice question! [highlight]Records have been found which shows that baptizing of Shakespeare took place on April 26, 1564. The place was Stratford-upon-Avon. In those days, baptizing happened only 3 days after birth. So logically, his birth date should have been April 23.[/highlight]
5. We said that his birth date was as per Julian Calendar. But what’s his birth date according to Gregorian Calendar? If April 23 was indeed his birth date as per Julian Calendar, [highlight]his birth date as per Gregorian Calendar would be 3rd May.[/highlight]
William Shakespeare Facts: 6-10 | Birth and Death Date, Plague Outbreak, Life Records
6. Here is something really interesting. [highlight]Only three days before Shakespeare’s baptizing, a plague outbreak was recorded in Startford parish register. This means that the day he was born, a plague broke out![/highlight]
7. Interestingly, April 23 is also Saint George’s Day or Feast of Saint George but that’s per the Julian Calendar. As per new Gregorian Calendar, Saint George’s Day actually falls on 6th of May. Saint George’s Day is England’s National Day.
8. [highlight]Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616. So, his day of death and his day of birth are both the same.[/highlight] He was only 52 years old then.
9. Nothing much of Shakespeare’s life has been recorded. There are a few legal documents and church records of Shakespeare. Some contemporary documents also have a few records of his but rest that we know come circumstantial evidences. Nothing much can be said with absolute certainty.
10. [highlight]Mary Shakespeare and John Shakespeare were the mother and father of William Shakespeare.[/highlight]