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William Shakespeare's 400th Anniversary

23 April 2016

On this day. 23 April, 2016, the great Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare (aka Shakspere), died in his home in Stratford-upon-Avon, 400 hundred years ago in 1616. Interestingly he may have been born on this day as well, as he was baptized on April 26, and although his exact birthdate is not known it is generally celebrated as being April 23, 1564.

He was a poet, dramatist, actor and part owner of the theatre company The Lord Chamberlain's Men. His plays consider human emotions and relationships with such creativity and acrobatics of language that his works have transcended class and culture, and as such have been in constant production around the world on both stage and screen for 400 years.

His plays are much loved and admired starting with Love's Labour's Lost, and continuing through Romeo & Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, and others, before finishing with Twelfth Night.

Kingston library has numerous books, movies and online information about Shakespeare's life and works, including study guides that assist the reader in navigating the peculiarities of the language of Shakespeare's time&perid;

Study Help

Research more about William Shakespeare's life and works using Britannica Online available in our eLibrary collection!

Several eBook study guides are also available to access online via our eLibrary collection from Infobase eBooks and Marshall Cavendish eBooks.

Recommended Reads

Shakespeare: A Life
by Wendy Greenhill and Paul Wignall
View Book

by Peter Chrisp
View Book

Shaking Hands with Shakespeare: A Teenager's Guide to Reading and Performing the Bard
by Allison Wedell Schumacher
View Book

A Midsummer Night's Dream
by William Shakespeare
edited by John Crowther

Item no longer available.

Literary Quotes

"He hath eaten me out of house and home". ‐ (Act II, Scene I).
King Henry IV, Part II
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers". ‐ (Act IV, Scene II).
King Henry the Sixth, Part II
"Double, double toil and trouble&semi: Fire burn, and cauldron bubble (Act IV, Scene I).
"My salad days, when I was green in judgment." ‐ (Act I, Scene V).
Antony and Cleopatra
"Brevity is the soul of wit". ‐ (Act II, Scene II).
Page image reference:

Taylor, J. (n.d.). Portrait of William Shakespeare [Fine Art].
National Portrait Gallery, London, UK. Available from
Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest