Monday, April 23, 2007

It's the Bard's Birthday!

There was a star danced, and under that was I born.
~William Shakespeare
Twelfth-Night, II, i, 351

April 23, 1564 - April 23, 1616

From Life and Times of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare, was born in April, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, about 100 miles northwest of London. According to the records of Stratford's Holy Trinity Church, he was baptized on April 26. Since it was customary to baptize infants within days of birth, and since Shakespeare died 52 years later on April 23, and--most significantly--since April 23 is St. George's day, the patron saint of England, it has become traditional to assign the birth day of England's most famous poet to April 23. As with most sixteenth century births, the actual day is not recorded. And as with most remarkable men, the power of myth and symmetry has proven irresistible. So April 23 it has become.
William Shakespeare,English poet and playwright,wrote about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and a variety of other poems. He was a popular writer in his own lifetime, and his work has become celebrated over time. Shakespeare enjoys a reputation of being the greatest writer in the English language, and in Western literature, as well as the world's pre-eminent dramatist.

Shakespeare is the most quoted writer in the literature and history of the English-speaking world, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. He is sometimes referred to as the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard").

Shakespeare's works have been translated into every major living language. His works are continually performed all around the world. Many quotations and sayings from his plays have passed into everyday usage in English as well as in other languages. Over the years, many people have speculated about different aspects of Shakespeare's life, and some have even debated whether or not someone else wrote some or all of his plays and poetry.

Absolute Shakespeare has more.