There are lots of wonderful blog posts and articles today about Shakespeare’s birthday. You’ll find all the details, guts and entrails of it at the Academy of American Poets. And it’s delightful to be reminded about all the cliche’s that were once original, phrases he put into our every-day language.
You may not know it, but this is actually the anniversary of the Bard’s death. Nobody is certain of his exact birth date. We only know that he was Christened on the 26th, so it’s likely that he was born three days before. Still, how exciting and creepy and totally appropriate that the Master would be remembered 400 years later in a birth-death combination holiday.
Thanks for this entertaining post, Scott, especially for the riotous suggestions about how to celebrate the day!
- Shakespeare Week – going strong. (museumnetworkwarwickshire.wordpress.com)
- Shakespeare scholars unite to see off threat of the ‘Bard deniers’ (guardian.co.uk)
- Shakespeare ‘was a schoolmaster’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Bad Bard! (shkspraddict.wordpress.com)
Originally posted on Scott Navicky:
Shakespeare’s Birthdeath Day:
Shakespeare died on April 23, supposedly after getting “porter in Macbeth” drunk with his good mates, Ben Jonson and Michael Drayton. No one knows exactly when Shakespeare was born, but he was christened on April 26. As it stands to reason that lil’ Willy was christened three days after birth, it’s possible to celebrate Shakespeare’s birth and death on the same day.
Strangely enough, the same thing happens to a character in Julius Caesar. “This is my birth-day,” Cassius tells Messala, “as this very day Cassius was born.” He then goes on to recount how he’s pretty sure that he’ll end up deadmeat in the upcoming battle and he’s right. (Nobody celebrates Cassius’ Birthdeath Day because nobody likes a schemer!)
So what’s a good way to celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthdeath Day?
Here are ten suggestions:
1. Poach some deer from your wealthy neighbor’s estate
“Oh, these are YOUR deer, Sir…
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