On what is estimated to be the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, Google has produced an enigmatic doodle to celebrate one of the greatest ever writers in the English language.
“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” That is one of my favourite quotes of all time. It comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
But who was Shakespeare? So many rumours and theories suggest that Shakespeare as a person didn’t exist, that he was a plagiarist, a collection of writers and some theories suggest Shakespeare was a woman.
History suggests he was a real person who happened to be a prolific playwright and poet and, unless real evidence actually emerges to suggest otherwise, let’s just stick with that, shall we?
Today’s Google Doodle to mark what is estimated to the 400th anniversary of the death of the writer, as well as being St George’s Day, features vignette images from some of the master’s greatest works, including Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and many more.
More than any writer of the English language, Shakespeare commands a respect that makes him truly immortal.
I once had an English teacher who threatened to throw people out of honours English class if they spelt his name wrong even once. That will tell you the level of respect he commanded.
Born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564, Shakespeare wrote 38 plays and 154, sonnets as well as poems and verses, and his works have been translated into every living language.
Married to Anne Hathaway at the age of 18, Shakespeare enjoyed a successful career in London as a writer, actor and owner of a theatrical company.
He retired at the age of 49 to Stratford where he died just three years later on 23 April 1616.
The spectrum of his work is all-encompassing, starting with comedies and histories, tragedies that include Othello and Hamlet to tragicomedies or romances later in his life including MacBeth and King Lear.