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Ten Fun Facts About William Shakespeare

Last updated 5 years ago

Born on April 23, 1564, William Shakespeare is still one of the most quoted English writers of all time. We are all familiar with some of his famous plays like Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet, but there is a lot more to the Bard of Avon than you think.

1. A Google search of "William Shakespeare" shows 61,500,000 results. Still popular after 400 years!

2. Shakespeare was an actor as well as manager and playwright. One of many roles he played was the Ghost of Hamlet’s father.

3. The 37 plays, 154 sonnets, and 5 long poems that survive of Shakespeare’s work total 884,647 words - punctuated by 138,198 commas!

4. Shakespeare's plays have been translated into over 80 languages – including one fictional language! Hamlet is the largest Klingon text to date translated by the Klingon Language Institute.

5. 23 of Uranus' 27 moons are named after Shakespearean characters.

6. As a boy, Shakespeare attended King’s New School in Stratford six days a week from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

7. Shakespeare’s characters use the word “love” 2,259 times, but “hate” is mentioned only 183 times.
8. Coffee and tea were unknown in Shakespeare's England; the most popular drink was beer.
9. During his lifetime, Shakespeare signed his name Shakespe, Shakspe, Shakspere, and Shakespear.
10. Shakespeare’s family paid 30 guineas (almost $25,000 in today’s money) for a coat of arms that allowed them to use the title “gentleman” after their names.
Happy 449th Birthday, William Shakespeare, from The Literacy & Language Center!

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