Today marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the world is coming together to honour and celebrate that man that brought us such wonderful plays like Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and beautiful sonnets and phrases we still use today. While I’ve been posting all April about all things Shakespeare, this is the actual day that marks the momentous occasion, even the Google Doodle is getting involved. It’s been 400 years since Shakespeare died somewhat unexpectedly (no one is sure what he died from) and judging by the effort and the scale in which people are honouring the playwright it’s incredible that he is as important today as he was in his own day.
The best place to see all the Shakespeare action is to follow the #Shakespeare400 tag on Twitter and Facebook. There is a myriad of posts from people offering up fun facts, trivia, quizzes and hosting other fun events. I know Bell Shakespeare here in Australia has a scavenger hunt going to find copies of Othello hidden around various cities and the bookstore Dymocks in Sydney have a whole afternoon of Shakespeare activities planned. Over in Britain the BBC have a range of live broadcasts planned as well when they tick over to the 23rd in a few hours. You don’t even need to do anything grand, go on Facebook and share your favourite quote, favourite movie, rewatch Romeo+Juliet, undoubtedly one of the greatest Shakespeare movies ever made. Even if you just want to share in the comments your favourite play/adaptation/quote, feel free!
I’ve included a selection of links below to get you into the Shakespearean mood and I will be posting on Facebook and Twitter (and Instagram if I can) a bunch of things to help keep the celebrations going strong. Or have a look at past Shakespeare posts from this month and see what fun things I’ve included and links I’ve suggested. It’s important to remember Shakespeare isn’t all stuffy boring plays; he’s so ingrained in history and our society there’s a myriad of ways to enjoy his work.
A few wonderful things I will suggest to start off your Shakespeare experience are from Good Tickle Brain, an amazing website where the delightful Mya creates cartoons and funny Shakespeare-themed things. She has recently created a useful flowchart to help you decided which Shakespeare play you should go and see, as well as an awesome Shakespeare Game of Life.
Other things I suggest if you’re in the USA is high tail it over to New York and book a seat to see the hilarious Something Rotten play because while I’ve only heard the soundtrack (on repeat all day every day), I assure you it is amazing.
If reading is more your thing (and why wouldn’t it be) grab a copy of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series for some great Shakespeare moments. The best one is Something Rotten which is filled with all sorts of great and hilarious things about Shakespeare and a very dramatic Hamlet. Or, if fun insults are more your thing, check out this chart of great Shakespearean insults.
As the day goes on and as other countries move into 23rd April there will no doubt be more exciting things revealed but for now take a look at what’s already around and who knows, you may discover something interesting!
Links and Bits