12 Little-Known Facts About Shakespeare


1. Shakespeare’s birthday that is celebrated today is April 23, 1564 despite the fact that this date is pure speculation. Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616 and so the birthday we celebrate today is pure projection on the part of the Shakespeare industry, assuming that Shakespeare had the pure sense to die on the same day that he was born.

2. In 1582 Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. Oddly, the name Anne Whateley appears in the marriage register.

3. When they got married, Shakespeare was 18 and Anne 26, and Anne was already pregnant with his child. The couple had three kids together in total.

4. Among the many Shakespearean curse words that frequent Shakespeare’s plays are “marry,” which translates to “shit” and implies swearing on the Virgin Mary; “zounds,” which means “fuck,” and comes from Christ’s wounds; “snails” which has no direct English translation, but comes from God’s or Jesus’s fingernails; and “steeth”.

5. Some words he used were unfamiliar to spectators at the time because he used slang from Stratford. For example, “ballow” is a wooden stick used to hit someone with; “gallow” means to frighten; “pash” means to strike someone; and “geck” translates to idiot or dufus.

6. Often times a rhyming couplet in Shakespeare’s plays symbolize weirdness and the infantile, as well as evokes a satanic air.

7. Shakespeare’s Globe Theater was, for the rich, a place to be seen. The rich could even sit on stage while watching the plays.

8. Clothes were more important than the plays, as they were one of the main lurers, with exotic and foreign elements woven into them.

9. In Comedy Of Errors, all of the puns with “Err” are connected to syphilis. Moreover, people during Shakespeare’s time believed that having desire caused someone to burn inside and contract syphilis. Most often blamed for infecting men with the disease were women and prostitutes.

10. At the time, everyone thought that each person contained four humors: blood, choler, melancholy, and phlegm. Syphilis was believed to come from an excess of blood.

11. Many believe that Pericles was a collaboration between Shakespeare and George Wilkins. The Adventures of Pericles was published by Wilkins the same time the play Pericles was written and critics have said that the first nine scenes are written by Wilkins, and the rest by Shakespeare. This assumption is based only on the style of writing.

12. Very little of Shakespeare’s life is known for certain. The majority is just speculation, or a projection of what we want to believe.

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