April 23rd marks Shakespeare’s 449th Birthday — or at least we think this is his birthday. Shakespeare’s exact birthday was not documented, but he was baptized on April 26th. April 23rd is an approximate date of birth given to him based on his baptismal record. Ironically, April 23rd marks the day he died as well. So fitting for a man who devoted his life to literature.
Shakespeare, is of course, one of the greatest writers of all time, and considered to be one of the greatest influences in the world of literature. In basing my three book series very loosely on Shakespeare, I’ve done some research into the history of his contributions. For example, I knew he was a literary genius, but did not know he is given credit for contributing over 3000 words to the English language. Also, his work ranks number two for being quoted the most in history. The Bible is number one.
And my last birthday-celebration-tidbit-about Shakespeare probably won’t come as a huge surprise. Along with being a gifted artist, Shakespeare was quite a smart businessman as well. One example of his business sense, was his decision to write Sonnets. He began writing them not because he was exploring a new medium for his talents, it was purely a business decision. He wrote Sonnets because the plague hit and he had to make a living. So he diversified – in response to what his market (audience) needed.
So, in honor of Shakespeare’s birthday and his life, here’s the infamous five lines from As You Like It.
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.