Some love him. Some hate him. Almost everyone has read (or seen a movie of) something he’s written. His plays have been performed more often than those of any other playwright.

And today is the anniversary of his birth – AND death (though his birth date is not absolutely certain). William Shakespeare, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, was presumed born April 23, 1564 (he was baptized April 26, and apparently three days after birth was customary at that time), and died 52 years later, to the day.

Even if you haven’t read Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, or Macbeth, you know of them. And they have likely influenced your writing whether you know it or not. It is said that 1,700 words in his works were first used by him there, and many have become part of modern English. And the storylines, of course, have been redone over and over.

And in several places, including Chicago, today is “Talk Like Shakespeare” Day. So practice that  iambic pentameter, toss in a few “thee’s” and thou’s,” and maybe even pull out your high school anthology and read a play.

I shall see thee on Wednesday.

What’s your favorite Shakespeare play? What’s your opinion of him? Have you used a “Shakespeare storyline” in a story of your own?

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