Saturday, 23 April 2016

Quadricentenary

William Shakespeare died 400 years ago today on April 23, 1616. That date is also speculated to have been his 52nd birthday. His cause of death is unknown but it was apparently sudden, unexpected and natural.

What better way to pay tribute to the greatest of English playwrights and poets than by using his own words?


What a piece of work is a man!
how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty!
in form and moving how
express and admirable!
in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god!
the beauty of the world!
the paragon of animals!
And yet, to me,
what is this quintessence of dust? 

(Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2)

(Photo is from the 2013 movie Only Lovers Left Alive.
And yes, of course, that is Tom Hiddleston.)

39 comments:

The Happy Whisk said...

I always thought it was neat when folks died on their birthdays.

anne marie in philly said...

to live to 52 in that day and age was a miracle.

in today's language: "yo romeo, where the hell you at, homeboy?" doesn't have the same romantic sound to it.

laurie said...

to die on his birthday,, now thats a class act,,

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i was born 400 years ago today.

strangelynaked.com said...

Happy Death Day, Shakespeare! No, wait, that's not right. Happy Rebirth on the Astral Plane Day, Billy Shakes! Nah, still doesn't sound right. Happy Day-You-Dropped-the-Ruse, Sirs Francis Bacon and Walter Raleigh! Yeah, that's more like it.

LL Cool Joe said...

Sudden, unexpected and natural is the way to go. Did you know that 2Pac was a big fan of Shakespeare?

mistress maddie said...

Happy Birthday Shakespeare!!! I never knew it was speculated age 52. Seems most real brilliant individuals and artist don't live long.

Adam said...

To be honest, his work would become a lot more relevant if they translated it into modern English. The same way someone reads King James Bible and you understand all the words but it sounds like a foreign language.

Leeanna said...

I am a drooling fangirl of his works. But people are saying he never lived. That all his works were the combination of different writers during that time. Who really knows. I'd like to think he was once alive and produced all those wonderful plays and sonnets.

Sunshineshelle said...

His storytelling and life is worth celebration, pleased you posted to remind us... Ohh, and that pic... Watched the film last week and was pleasantly impressed, love never dies, Like a great tale it has a life of its own.

Cheryl said...

Now that is a birthday present that I wouldn't want...especially at 52. But then, that might be the equivalent of 100 today. I never had heard that fact about Shakespeare...Debra, you are always teaching me new things.

Marie Smith said...

He lived to a good age for the time. He certainly accomplished a great deal in his short time.

Brewella Deville said...

I never did understand the fervor with which the Baconites and the Marlowians et al. insisted that there was no way Shakespeare wrote what he did. I remember watching a documentary in which one of them was interviewed while standing in front of an image of Shakespeare and he seemed to be in actual physical pain while doing so. Seriously English dude, non-Oxford types get sh** done too.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Happy Birthday to Will!

DEZMOND said...

I'm not least surprised he was a fellow Aries!

Guillaume said...

I'm watching Shakespeare Live now. Greatest playwright ever and almost single-handledly invented English language.

Martin Kloess said...

lovely reminder, thank you for sharing.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Great post! You always share the most interesting things. I guess 52 was considered a decent life at that time. I'm glad it's somewhat longer now because I just turned 51 in February!

When I was in 11th grade, I had an English teacher that was obsessed with Shakespeare. We spent most of that year studying his work!

Fundy Blue said...

I loved studying Shakespeare, one of my favorite courses in university! Thanks for honoring his work!

dbs said...

Only a (fantastic) crazy man could write "Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile." We studied that line for an entire class in University and it still confuses me.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

"Quintessence of dust" <-what a bone-chilling combination of words. Great tribute, Debra. Thank you.

Magaly Guerrero said...

Happy belated birthday to the delicious Bard. Um, I mean to the Bard (and Tom is delicious *cough*).

Magaly Guerrero said...

Damn, Tom! Stop confusing me. It's not the Bard's birthday *sigh8*. I hope he understand the small tragedy, that is my confusion.

G. B. Miller said...

He was definitely an oldy moldy guy to make it to his 50's back then. Still, the eternal question will always be, did he or didn't he?

Anna of the Mutton Years said...

I finally visited Stratford upon Avon last year. we had a fabulous trip chasing the Bard's footsteps into drinking establishments and seeing the house he grew up in.

Missy George said...

He had a long life for those days..What a prolific writer he was..

JACKIESUE said...

Shakespeare writes gud.

Rommy said...

Great scene!

LL Cool Joe said...

Just to let you know I've finally done the post about the music award you gave me. Thanks it was fun!

bj said...

I always had a hard time understanding his works...the language....

Kay G. said...

You know those people who don't believe that Shakespeare wrote all this plays but that it was someone more famous or richer than he was? I think they are wrong and should be horse whipped for even thinking such a thing. Just saying.

Magic Love Crow said...

I didn't realize he died on his birthday! Great tribute!
(Game of Thrones tonight! Still sick, but I am staying up for that! LOL!)

Margo Ayotte said...

Intoxicating words when spoken aloud.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hi Margo -- I'm following your blog but it looks like you don't accept comments? Please know that I enjoy your photos!

Riot Kitty said...

I hate to tell you, but I was never able to enjoy Shakespeare. Tom Hiddleston, however, I think I could have a lot of fun with...

Saucy Siciliana said...

There was a rumor a few years ago that he was SICILIAN, that he was born in MESSINA! Were we happy! But nobody talks about it anymore. I love his plays, a few days ago on TV they showed his Othello. My favorite is Hamlet, that's because I'm crazy about Kenneth Branagh.

Winter Moon said...

What a brilliant tribute to an amazing writer!

I adore that film (Only Lovers Left Alive)

Enjoy your week xx

mrsduncanmahogany said...

My brother's birthday is also on the 23rd. We celebrated both on Saturday. I have yet to see that movie!

laughingwolf said...

...BILLY S was truly a man for all reasons