Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in London. However, much about his life remains uncertain or mysterious. There are even some people who think he didn’t write the plays!
Here are some of the things we do know about Shakespeare:
- Shakespeare was born and died on the same day, 23 April.
- When Shakespeare got married, he was 18. His wife was 26 – and pregnant.
- One of Shakespeare’s relatives was arrested for plotting against Queen Elizabeth I, and was executed.
- Shakespeare acted in his own plays. For example, in Hamlet, he played the ghost of Hamlet’s father.
- Shakespeare performed as an actor in front of Queen Elizabeth I, and after her death in 1603, in front of King James I.
- The Globe Theatre in London burned down in 1613, when a large gun set fire to the roof during a performance of Shakespeare’s play Henry VIII. It was rebuilt.
- Shakespeare spelled his own name in several different ways, including ‘Shakspere’ and ‘Shakspeare’.
- It is known that Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays. It is possible that he also wrote others which have been lost.
- Anagrams of the name William Shakespeare include ‘I am a weakish speller’ and ‘I’ll make a wise phrase’.
- According to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare introduced nearly 1,000 new words to the English language.