William Shakespeare is perhaps the most well-known and celebrated playwright in the history of English literature. His works have been performed and studied for centuries, and his influence can be seen in literature and culture around the world. However, despite his enduring fame, there are still many surprising facts about the life and work of Shakespeare that may come as a surprise to even the most dedicated fans. Here are five surprising facts about the man and his legacy:
1. Shakespeare was not actually his real name. It is believed that his actual name was William Shakspere, but it was spelled differently in various documents and plays, leading to the more commonly known version of “William Shakespeare.”
2. Shakespeare was not highly educated. He likely did not attend university, and there is no record of him receiving any formal education beyond grammar school. Despite this, he is considered one of the greatest playwrights and poets in history.
3. Shakespeare was a shareholder in an acting company. He was a member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a popular acting company in London, and held a financial stake in the company.
4. Many of Shakespeare’s plays were not published until after his death. During his lifetime, Shakespeare’s plays were only distributed in the form of handwritten scripts and were not printed until after his death in 1616.
5. Shakespeare may have had a secret code in his works. Some scholars believe that Shakespeare embedded hidden meanings and messages in his plays and poems, possibly as a form of political commentary or personal expression. These codes, if they do indeed exist, have yet to be fully deciphered.
Overall, Shakespeare’s life and works continue to captivate and intrigue people around the world, and there is still much to learn and discover about this iconic figure in literature.