400 Years of Shakespeare
Today marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. The most famous playwright in history died at the age of 52 on April 23rd, 1616. Not that he was the most famous playwright in history then, but the intervening years have been good to Mr. Shakespeare. His work has been produced (and reproduced) in print, on stage and screen, as sound recordings and radio dramas, and so on, and so on. Not to mention all the parodies – just yesterday I watched an amusing cartoon parody of Puck’s well-known, final monologue from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is hard to overstate the breadth of influence that he has had on literary, theatrical and popular culture.
For those looking to scratch the Shakespeare itch, all of his writings are available online. I am sure that a quick Internet search would produce several results – like MIT’s Shakespeare site, which has his complete works in one convenient location. If you are looking for something a bit more tangible don’t forget that you can always find Shakespeare at your local library.
For more about the man himself, you could start with this quick list of little known Shakespeare facts from The Telegraph, a UK newspaper. And speaking of UK newspapers, here is a list of Shakespeare celebrations happening in the US from The Guardian – pay special attention to Chicago’s yearlong Shakespeare festival highlighted towards the beginning of the article – it’s only a couple of hours away.