Happy 450th Birthday Shakespeare!

I present to thee 23 ways to celebrate Mr. Shakespeare’s Birthday.

1. Read a play.

They’re all online for free - if it’s your first time (coughcoughshakespearevirgins)
try Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or Macbeth.

The Shakespeare Folger Library just launched their FREE complete digital texts.

2. Go SEE a play.

There’s nothing quite like hearing Shakespeare’s texts.

Shakespeare’s Globe, Twelfth Night, 2012
With Stephen Fry and Mark Rylance

3. Can’t get to a stage? Check out a live broadcast at your local movie theater.

Donmar Warehouse, Coriolanus, 2013
With Tom Hiddleston

4. Or rent a digital recording.

Like David Tennant and Catherine Tate’s Much Ado About Nothing.

5. Watch a film adaptation.

Laurence Olivier, Hamlet, 1948

Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood, 1957

(Macbeth in medieval Japan!)

Kenneth Branagh, Henry V, 1989

With Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 10 Things I Hate About You, 1999

(The Taming of the Shrew in High School)

6. Appreciate how pervasive Shakespeare is in popular culture.

7. Use a Shakespearean insult on someone.

Chances are they won’t understand anyway.

8. Find out what famous historical figures thought about Shakespeare.

9. Read a Sonnet.

(David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing)

10. Enjoy a parody.

Sassy Gay Friend - Hamlet, 2010

11. Read one of his longer poems.

Besides the famous sonnets, Shakespeare also wrote a few longer poems, like Venus and Adonis.

12. If you can, visit Shakespeare’s Globe!

Looks like they’ve got some awesome shenanigans going on.

If you’re in the States, and on the East Coast, head to the American Shakespeare Center!

West Coasters, check out the Oregon Shakespeare Festival!

It’s America’s oldest Elizabethan Theatre, with several Shakespearean plays indoors and outdoors, along with more modern works.

13. Enjoy a Shakespearean webcomic.

This one by angrycomics is an absolute favorite.

This one too, from dipthatpen! Check out the link for more!

14. Buy some Shakespeare gear.

15. For the truly dedicated, make a trip out to Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace.

16. If you’re a Doctor Who fan, watch The Shakespeare Code again.

17. Watch Shakespeare in Love.

It’s cuuutee.


18. Look up some classical Shakespearean ‘fanart’.

John Everett Millais, Ophelia, 1951-2, currently at the Tate Modern.

Hilarity added by tumblr.

19. Master the lingo.

The folks at The YUNiversity of Righteous Grammar have an awesome post that will school you on your thous and thines.

20. Get into a fight over accuracy.

21. Use a lesser known (but no less awesome) quote.

Macbeth, Act 4 Scene 2, First Murderer.

Don’t stab anyone though. I’m looking at you Brutus. And Juliet. And Macbeth.

Ah, yes, Shakespeare’s finest ‘yo mama’ joke.

22. …Or just run around and dramatically shout…

23. Whatever else you do, don’t forget to appreciate the awesomeness of Mr. William Shakespeare; playwright, poet, and all-around genius.


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