Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Wed May 04 2016

8 Things You Might Not Have Known About William Shakespeare

Tour Operator | CIE Tours International | Lisa Iannucci | May 04, 2016

8 Things You Might Not Have Known About William Shakespeare

PHOTO: William Shakespeare illustration (Courtesy Thinkstock)

To travel or not to travel, that is the question.

Okay, well those are not quite the words that William Shakespeare penned, but if you’re a fan of the playwright’s work, you might be interested in knowing that according to the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Shakespeare did write close to one-tenth of the most quoted lines ever written or spoken in English.

This year is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and CIE Tours International now offers his fans travel tours of the cuisine and traditional English villages and hamlets where the author lived, including Stratford upon Avon.

Here are 8 interesting facts you might now have known about Shakespeare.

SEE MORE: CIE Is Your Britain and Ireland Expert

  1. Born in April, 1564, William married Anne Hathaway when he was only 18 years old. Hathaway was 8 years older and the couple welcomed their daughter Susanna, and then twins Hamnet and Judith followed in February 1585.
  2. Shakespeare never published any of his works. Instead it is said to be two of his actors – John Hemminges and Henry Condell – who recorded and published more than 30 of the plays under the name The First Folio after the scribe died.
  3. Unfortunately, although Shakespeare was well-read, it seems that his daughter Susanna and one of his twins, Judith, were illiterate. 
  4. Sadly Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died when he was only 11 years old.
  5. Show him the money: When Shakespeare died it is said that he was very wealthy with a large property portfolio.
  6. Who was Shakespeare? Was he a fraud? It seems he may have been, but it depends on who you listen to. It is said that since Shakespeare was a commoner who didn’t go to college or travel, it was impossible for him to become one of the most eloquent writers in history. As a result, the channel has said that theories are circulating that one, or several authors used the person of William Shakespeare as a front. The movie Anonymous from 2011 presents Lord Oxford as the true author of William Shakespeare's plays, and dramatizes events around the succession to Queen Elizabeth I, and the Earl of Essex Rebellion against her.
  7. Stink it up: The Globe Theatre is a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Reports have indicated that the theater, thanks to a bear baiting event that would take place, offended the olfactory senses of the audience members thanks to 120 English mastiffs, several bulls and 12 large bears.
  8. In one of the oddest Shakespeare connections, a German immigrant named Eugene Schieffelin brought as many of Shakespeare's birds that are mentioned in his works to North America. Schieffelin released 60 starlings into New York's Central Park to start breeding and they are now considered a nuisance. In 1960 they caused the most deadly bird strike in US aviation history, flying into the engines of a plane as it took off from Boston's Logan Airport, and it crashed into the harbor, killing 62 people on board.

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