I love a good Taurus Birthday. And today we see one in the form of William Shakespeare.
Many people agree that Shakespeare was the world’s greatest playwright. As such, you would think that every little detail about his life would have been recorded. But, we actually know very little about Shakespeare’s life — especially the early part.
There are some things which have been noted. And those few details have mostly come from church records, and land titles. Those sorts of things.
There is a record that he was baptized on April 26, 1564. So everyone puts his birthdate on this day — April 23, 1564 — as was tradition back then. The baptism on the third day.
We know he was getting busy early on too. In 1582 Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. He was just 18 years old. She was 26. They had a baby 6 months later.
He went to London and started in the playwriting game. There was plenty of competition in that part of the art world, but by 1595, Shakespeare had become one of the more senior members of the Lord Chamberlain’s men — an acting company. And then from there to the King’s Men. Now that was a biggie. That made him the official playwright to the King of England.
Of course, he had a huge and successful career. We know all the plays. “Where for art thou…” and the likes. He retired in 1611, and died in 1616. He passed away on April 23rd too — his birth date of his 52nd year.
I always think it is an interesting thing when people die on their birthdays. I wonder how often it happens. Anyway, he bequeathed his “second best bed” to his wife, which suggested that things may have not been so rosy between them.
Here is the thing about Will. I always picture his ancestors and not him. I mean, his way, way, way back ancestors. The cavemen. I see his cavemen/women parents as being an artsy couple in their cave. They do things like paint on the walls. They throw a few animal skins about on the rocks. The Mr. & Mrs. have a little fondue pot over the cave fire, with five different types of melting cheeses.
The rest of the cave people think they are a little strange. They say things as they pass their cave opening, like “Ugghhh,” and “Ooooggggh.” At the company picnic last year, one of the guys kicked sand in William’s ancestor’s face.
Then the day came. The manly group of cavemen came to their door, and shouted for them to come out. And then, they started showing them things, like how to throw rocks, how to grunt, and how to hunt. Finally, in the hunting scheme, they began yelling, “You! You must…. Shake Spear. SHAKE SPEAR.” And they demonstrated by lurching about and shaking their spears.
The couple stood in front of their cave opening, mouths agape. But the name stuck. The entire cave-people community started calling them the Shakespears. Arthur and Glenna.
And that is all I know about the history of William Shakespeare. On this, the date of his birth and death.
We know what we are, but know not what we may be.
— William Shakespeare
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts. — William Shakespeare
There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. — William Shakespeare
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. — William Shakespeare