One of the world’s most renowned – perhaps, the most sacred – playwright, William Shakespeare is more often than not known for the everlasting characters, such as Macbeth, King Lear and Hamlet, that he has given to this humankind!
Not to mention, with an inclination towards dramatic plot twists and an amazing ability to write romantic verses, he has produced works that’ll for sure live longer than all of us ever would. More to the point, though he had to live through a chaotic yet gripping era – an epoch of riots, religious and political issues and plague – Shakespeare continued working so much so that he became the most famed playwright all across the globe!
Of course, you’ve got a lot to talk about when it comes to the legendary William Shakespeare, but we’re sure that there are certain facts which you may not be aware of. But, guess what… we’ve got that covered for you. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 7 facts that you never really knew of.
Read on and get to know what it is. Disclaimer – Get ready to be caught on the hop (don’t tell us that we didn’t warn you)!
The only one to get through plague was Shakespeare
Well, we won’t really correlate William with the dismay of Black Death… but to tell you the truth, Stratford-upon-Avon did get affected by plague during the time when he was born. It killed round about 200 people, which entails kids living next door; nonetheless, he turned out to be the lucky one and got through it during his formative years.
Regardless of that, the plague didn’t seem to stop haunting his life – it is deemed that the death of his very own son, Hamnet, was because of the disease. We guess… being a writer in London even he might have faced the same, specifically when it was ruled that the theatres would be closed if deaths went above 30 in a week.
At the age of 18, William got married to Anne Hathaway
William got married at the age of 18 to Anne Hathaway, who was 26 back then. It was speculated that their wedding was enforced because by then Anne was 3 months pregnant. But irrespective of the 8 year age difference, their marriage lasted for 34 years.
Shakespeare and his family had a crest
William’s family name has been eternalised underneath a coat of arms – a yellow spear that’s superimposed on a yellow shield – in Latin, which says “Non Sans Droict” (meaning: Not Without Right).
His family used to hang the crest on the front door of their house as well as on personal stuff. To top it off, the male members of the family had the liability to embrace the word Gentleman’ at the end of their names. How dignified, right?
Though it isn’t spelled rightly, he had an influential name
During the entire lifespan of Shakespeare, his name has been spelled in nearly 80 different ways. Whilst he did scribble his name on every manuscript, an array of signatures, such as “William Shakspeare” and “Willm Shakp”, could be found on each one of them. However, his name has been probably derived from words like ‘schakken’ (meaning brandish) and ‘speer’ (meaning spear), which belong to Old English and mean a self-confident, confrontational person
He made the most quirky Will
Before Shakespeare died, he had written a Will mentioning as to what goes to whom. But when it came to his wife, he mentioned her in just 12 terrible words which were pretty concise, “I gyve unto my wief my second best bed with the furniture”. How considerate of him, right? That being said, you can make use of a free Will template to mention your last request and how you’d want your legacy to be divided. Of course, you could come up with something incredibly amazing, but all we ask for is ‘be considerate’.
None of the plays written by Shakespeare has been published
Was this one of William’s cunning ways to ensure his plays were never copied and remained under his name forever? Uhm, we don’t really know why none of his plays were ever published. However, after he died in the year 1616 (which apparently is his birthday as well!), his mates Henry Condell and Hemminges bring together the First Folio, entitled Mr. William Shakespeare’s Histories, Tragedies and Comedies, and published it with an image of him engraved in copper on its cover.
We know that by now you’ll be sitting there holding your jaw in your hand (we already told you)! That apart, for the legend that Shakespeare was, him and his poetry will forever be etched in the memory of us all!