It is perhaps difficult for some people to understand why we are making such a big fuss of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. A friend of mine from the Middle-East asked me with a look of incredulity and amusement, ‘Are you celebrating 400 years after he died? What’s the point?’
My first reaction was a nervous laughter because it caught me a bit off guard and, to be honest, if you put it in these terms, it does sound weird. I ended up trying to explain what Shakespeare actually means to us in terms of language and literary legacy but he only really got a little bit more convinced when I started talking about what Shakespeare means to me, both personally and professionally.
There is so much to talk about that I feel somehow defeated and instead of writing a blog post going on and on about things I have already said and written elsewhere and repeating the arguments of others who are more knowledgeable and better writers than myself, the best thing to do is to collect here a selection of articles that have been published in The Guardian during this festive week. Links below.
Happy birthday Will!
- Ten ways in which Shakespeare changed the world by Robert McCrum
- Shakespeare’s last act: a torrent of twisted fantasies by James Shapiro
- Crime, social climbing, shotgun weddings: meet the Shakespeares by Simon Callow
- Shakespeare: who put those thoughts in his head? by Jonathan Bate
- Bed tricks and broken women: Shakespeare’s guide to love by Jeanette Winterson
- Shakespeare: the playwright who brings the world closer by Domenic Dromgoole
- Still got it – why Shakespeare lives on from Warsaw to Vegas by Michael Billington
- Shakespeare’s greatest achievement is that he lives inside all our heads by Martin Kettle