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Shakespeare’s 400th Death Anniversary

By: Audrey Tyler/Senior Writer

Four hundred years ago the world lost one of its most influential literary scholars. On April 23rd, 1616, William Shakespeare died. What is really interesting is that he died on his supposed birthday, as well.

Not much is known about the playwright’s life. It’s on record that his baptism was on April 26th, so historians assume he was born on the 23rd. It’s known that William Shakespeare was married to Anne Hathaway (not the actress). The two had three children: Susanna, and twins, Judith and Hamnet, who died when he was merely eleven years old.

Shakespeare brought the world many great pieces of literature such as Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, The Tempest, and many more great works. Blue Ridge English classes read a few of his works for curriculum purposes. Freshman study Romeo and Juliet, while seniors read Macbeth and Hamlet.

Senior Ashlee Derrick says, “I’ve read Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, and I’ve seen Othello. I love all of the stories. He had a brilliant mind. It is obvious that he is a timeless author.”

Senior Taylor Hall also believes it’s amazing that we, as a society, are still reading his works today. “His works are different, but the fact that we have been studying them for 400 years now is outstanding.”

12th grade English teacher, Rebecca Williams, stated, “He is the most prolific writer of all time.” Her favorite work by him is Hamlet because, “It translates well into lessons for current students, especially those who are leaving high school.” She also believes that people will be studying his literature forever.

Shakespeare did not only create brilliant works of art, but he coined many common terms we have today. He came up with words such as “addiction”, “bedazzled”, “belongings”, “cold-blooded”, “eyeball”, “swagger”, and “uncomfortable”.

Many people are recognizing and appreciating Shakespeare’s work because of this anniversary. It may be 400 years since his death, but the world is still celebrating the contributions that he has brought to history, literature, and language.

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