The Bard's Birthday

William Shakespeare portrait

tonynetone/Via Flickr

Today is William Shakespeare‘s 444th birthday. There’s an insightful article in today’s Melbourne Herald Sun about the timelessness of the Bard and why we should celebrate today:

“Shakespeare has more than any other figure in literature influenced how we see the world.”

Writer Christopher Bantick illustrates some of the lasting lessons that Shakespeare taught us in his enduring plays.

Speaking of plays, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London opens its 2008 season today with King Lear—his “most profound tragedy”—which is running until October 5. The theater also commemorated his birthday with a giant celebration Sunday.

While April 23 is widely recognized as the date of Shakespeare’s
birth, his actual birthday is unknown. However, he was baptized April
26, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon. Of course, April 23 makes a good
birthday, because, in one of history’s coincidences, today also marks
the 392nd anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 1616.

The article in the Herald Sun concludes with this observation:

“There’s plenty to celebrate in blowing out candles today remembering
Shakespeare’s birth in 1564. Even so, what did the Bard say on the
passing of time? He left it to Macbeth: ‘Out, out brief candle! Life’s
but a walking shadow.'”

Shakespeare’s shadow thankfully looms large, and there’s no extinguishing his influence. Here’s to another 444 years of celebration.

Katie from EF

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