Remembering William Shakespeare On 'English Language Day'
On April 23, the date traditionally believed to be the birth and death day of William Shakespeare, United Nations observes 'English Language Day'.
On April 23, the date traditionally believed to be the birth and death day of William Shakespeare, United Nations observes 'English Language Day'. It is commonly believed that William Shakespeare, the national poet of England, invented over 1700 words during his career as a playwright. His contribution to English Language makes it indispensable that English Language Day be celebrated on the date which is both his birthday and death day.
William Shakespeare, or the 'Bard of Avon', is one of the most celebrated English poets who left behind a seminal body of work in the form of plays and sonnets. However not much is known about his life. By the time he was first mentioned in print as a playwright in 1592, almost half his life was over.
He was born in April 1564. The exact date is not known, but he was baptised on April 26, 1564 and his birthday is traditionally observed on April 23. He was the third of eight children born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. He married Anne Hathway in 1582 and had three children. Record of his life before he emerged on the London Theatre scene is sparse.
William Shakespeare is credited with writing at least 37 plays which include his famous tragedies Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth, famous comedies like The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, and Twelfth Knight, and historical plays like Henry V and Richard III.
He also wrote 154 sonnets. Shakespearean Sonnets are written predominantly in the iambic pentameter rhyme, a rhyme which is also followed in most of his plays, albeit the lines are unrhymed and not grouped in stanzas.
William Shakespeare remains a towering figure in the world of literature, forming part of a canon which is taught in English Literature classes across the world.
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