When it comes to English literature, William Shakespeare is one of the most admired authors and writers. The English playwright is so legendary that movies and shows are still being produced based on his books, many hundreds of years after his passing. If you are a student of literature, you might have had one or more friends who would quote Shakespeare just to sound sophisticated or intelligent.
When you talk about Elizabethan era literature, most people think of Shakespeare–no author has influenced the English language as he had, with around three thousand words credited to him. This article will share four interesting facts about Shakespeare’s life that everyone should know.
The Lost Years of William Shakespeare
For an important fellow like Shakespeare, who shook the world with his literary and stage genius, there would rarely be a long period of unaccounted absence from the spotlight or records. Yet, there are no records of Shakespeare’s activities between 1585 and 1592. Those seven years are referred to as “the lost years of William Shakespeare.” At least we know that Dave Chapelle went on a spiritual retreat to South Africa when he disappeared from the entertainment scene for ten years. Unfortunately, there is no credible source that can confirm where William Shakespeare had disappeared for the seven years he was away from the spotlight.
Only Men Performed in Shakespeare’s Stage Plays
When working in Shakespeare’s stage plays, men performed the stage roles of both men and women. However, this lack of gender representation was not restricted to only Shakespeare’s plays–it was a societal norm at the time as it was not socially acceptable for women to appear in stage plays. Hence, men wore female costumes and spoke femininely to portray female characters.
Queen Elizabeth I Was A Big Fan of William Shakespeare
It is one thing to be a successful playwright, and it is another to be so adored by the ruler of your nation. Queen Elizabeth 1 was such a fan of William Shakespeare that she often hired his company to perform at the Royal court.
William Shakespeare’s Play Burned His Theatre Down
Shakespeare plays often involved special effects like trap doors, smoke, fire, actors lifted with wires, etc. On one occasion, however, when Shakespeare’s production team fired a cannon on stage for special effects, it set fire to the roof of his theatre, The Globe, burning it down completely.