ON HIS BIRTHDAY
5 Ways to Celebrate Shakespeare – William Shakespeare has influenced literature and the English language for almost 500 years. The author of 37 plays nuanced with tragedy, history, comedy, and fantasy, infused with love and the struggle of good versus evil, the playwright also published a collection of poems. His theatre company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, performed for Queen Elizabeth and the Globe Theatre. Born April 23, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Bard is celebrated each year on his birthday by lovers of his works. We offer these 5 Ways to Celebrate Shakespeare on his birthday.
1. Discover How Common His Words Are Today
It might surprise you to know many phrases we use today, Shakespeare used in his plays. While he may not have coined them, the Bard made them popular, fixing them to his iambic pentameter. Phrases like “in a pickle” from The Tempest and “wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve” from Othello are just a couple of examples. Do you know any others?
2. Read A Scene or Poem
When we had no life experience, Shakespeare must have seemed so dull to most of us. Reading from his plays after a decade or so has passed gives new meaning to them. We find humor in The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Taming of the Shrew. The tragedy he created in Othello has more meaning to us. And we understand the bitterness of lost love in Romeo and Juliet with fresh eyes.
3. Watch a Production
Whether you watch a stage production or a film production, we appreciate the art of Shakespeare so much more when we see it in action. Actors who’ve studied the Bard understand the language. Their ability to make it come alive and express it on stage brings about some unique interpretations you cannot imagine just by reading. If you’ve never seen a Shakespearian production, I encourage you to indulge this writer and try it at least once in your lifetime. The experience will be worth it.
4. Introduce Shakespeare to Someone New
Those who love the words of Shakespeare do not usually hide their feelings. They tend to express their love of the Bard outwardly. They come in all forms, too. Some have a passing knowledge, able to name several plays, especially their favorites, including personalities. Others will quote entire passages in character. What’s more important is they share their love of Shakespeare with others.
Invite someone to join you at the next Shakespeare festival, play, or reading. Infect them with a love of the Bard. You won’t regret it.
5. Talk Like Shakespeare
On the Bard’s birthday, there is a fun little celebration called National Talk Like Shakespeare Day. It’s the one day of the year where you have permission to infuse your speech with hints of Stratford-upon-Avon circa the Golden Age of the Renaissance. The fun celebration doesn’t expect you to be spot on, though if you care to try, there are several resources out there that will help practice.