Interesting facts about Shakespeare

Posted on Nov 25, 2022      363

The English playwright William Shakespeare is not only a world-famous figure but also an extremely mysterious one. His personality is still shrouded in a veil of mystery, and until now, no one even knows for sure what he looked like. He achieved fame during his lifetime, but his works are still being studied, read, and shown on theatrical stages around the world.

Interesting facts about Shakespeare’s life

  • Reliable information about Shakespeare’s appearance has not survived. In London, the only lifetime portrait of the writer was exhibited, whose authenticity is not in doubt - it was kept in a private collection for many years. It is known that the picture was painted six years before the playwright’s death, but how accurate was its author, it is no longer possible to establish.
  • Besides William, his parents had six other children.
  • Shakespeare, at eighteen, married a 26-year-old landlord’s daughter, as the girl became pregnant. The future writer had to get special permission for the marriage from the bishop.
  • In his will, Shakespeare has attributed to his wife only “second-rate bed”. For a long time, this was offensive, although researchers have now come to the opposite conclusion - they believe Shakespeare was referring to their first common bed.

  • The playwright’s plays are set in many European countries, including France, Denmark and Italy, but the author of these lines has probably never left his native England.
  • Thanks to Shakespeare, between 1,700 and 3,200 unfamiliar words have appeared in the English language, according to various sources.
  • Theater directors considered the ending of Shakespeare’s play King Lear so sad that it was never staged in its original form for a century and a half.
  • During Shakespeare’s lifetime, his most popular work was Venus and Adonis, which is now known only to connoisseurs of his work.
  • At least two of his plays have been irretrievably lost.
  • Shakespeare repeatedly used the theme of twins in his works, since the poet himself was the father of twins. His son died in early childhood, but his daughter lived to be 77.
  • The first movie based on Shakespeare’s creation was made in the late 19th century.
  • Shakespeare’s vocabulary was between 20,000 and 25,000 words, although now educated Englishmen use only 4,000 words for writing and speech. Shakespeare’s parents were not literate, and there was no record of the playwright’s own education.

  • Not a single manuscript of Shakespeare has survived. Scholars can study only six signatures under documents made by his hand.
  • Shakespeare’s direct lineage was interrupted in 1670 after the death of his granddaughter.
  • Shakespeare was born and died on April 23. Fifty-two years passed between the two events.
  • There are over 80 variations of the playwright’s name and surname.
  • Shakespeare’s books are the second most quoted in Britain after the Bible.
  • Shakespeare was not only a writer but also an excellent actor, who played many roles in his own plays. He also owned several theaters with his companions.
  • The 38 plays written by the playwright during his career contain over 884,000 words.
  • Many satellites of the planet Uranus are named after characters from Shakespeare’s works.
  • Researchers have concluded that Shakespeare was well versed in politics, music and botany - references to 63 plant species have been found in his plays.
  • Shakespeare’s friend Henry Risley used to wear women’s clothes and put on makeup every day.