Almanac: Shakespeare's birth, and death

And now a page from our “Sunday Morning” Almanac: April 23rd, 1564, 453 years ago today … the day traditionally given for the birthdate of the great English playwright William Shakespeare.

The humble home in which he was born is the pride of Stratford-upon-Avon.

By his thirties, he was in London and a published playwright.

In 1599, Shakespeare and his acting company opened The Globe Theater, the stage for many of his best-known works.

He wrote 38 plays in all, including “Hamlet,” with its famous graveyard scene:

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times, and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning?

William Shakespeare died on April 23rd, 1616 -- his 52nd birthday, no less -- and is buried at Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church.

His dramas and comedies continue to be performed on stages around the world, not least at the recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, which opened in 1997. There -- as Shakespeare himself would have it -- “The play’s the thing.” 

       
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