Talk Like Shakespeare Day Celebrates Bard’s 447th Birthday

Apr 24th, 2011 | By | Category: Lifestyle

To celebrate William Shakespeare’s 447th birthday, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater declared April 23 Talk Like Shakespeare Day. Website visitors were invited to imitate Shakespeare’s speaking style, send pictures and videos of themselves dressed up in Elizabethan outfits for a “Where’s William?” contest, and email virtual birthday greetings to the great Bard.

L88 Gilbert WShakespeares Plays Talk Like Shakespeare Day Celebrates Bards 447th Birthday

Sir John Gilbert's 1849 painting, The Plays of William Shakespeare, containing scenes and characters from several of William Shakespeare's plays.

Shakespeare is believed to have been born on April 23 in 1564, the same date he would die in 1616. He is widely considered the greatest poet to ever write in the English language and the greatest playwright in history. His most popular play is Romeo and Juliet, which has been adapted to film at least 18 times. His most critically acclaimed play, by a vote of actors, writers, directors, and producers, is Hamlet. His plays spanned every genre from tragedy to comedy to historical drama. His surviving works include 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and several narrative poems.

So how do you talk like Shakespeare? The Chicago Shakespeare Theater provides a list of tips, such as:

  • Instead of “you,” say “thou” or “thee” (and instead of “y’all,” say “ye”)
  • When in doubt, add the letters “eth” to the end of verbs (he runneth, he trippeth, he falleth)
  • To add weight to your opinions, try starting them with “methinks,” “mayhaps,” “in sooth” or “wherefore”
  • Instead of cursing, try calling your tormenters jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous bunch-back’d toads

To see more tips for talking like Shakespeare or to see the winning photos in the Where’s William contest, visit

Technorati Tags: , ,

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment