Today is Shakespeare Day, marked so because it’s the date he was both born AND died (freaky). And this year the day is extra-special as it’s the 400th anniversary since he died.
Even if you’re not a fan every English speaker owes him a debt.
Some of the words he invented that we all use include: eyeball, addiction, cold-blooded, swagger, uncomfortable, zany, bedazzled, and fashionable.
And Shakespeare plays are the basis for some surprising pop culture adaptations like The Lion King (Hamlet), She’s the Man (Twelfth Night), West Side Story (Romeo and Juliet), and Game of Thrones (A mashup of about 15 Shakespeare plays, but with dragons)
Though considered the pinnacle of sophisticated English literature, what we love most about Willie S. was his dirty sense of humor. Almost all of his plays have a dick joke (even the serious tragedies) though we don’t always get the gag since slang has changed. For instance the word “will” its self, the man’s first name, was slang for a penis.
And the word “nothing” was slang for lady parts, so keep that in mind when you think of his romantic-comedy style plays Much Ado About Nothing.
But plenty of bawdy humor still translates to the present. Like this dialogue from Twelfth Night where a character believes he recolonizes his lady’s handwriting on a love note addressed to him:
By my life, this is my lady’s hand these be her very C’s, her U’s, ‘N her T’s and thus makes she her great P’s.
And we GIF journalists get primo-material from the Bard for the Internet’s insatiable appetite for Benedict Cumberland loops
And Tom Hiddleston
(Plus, a few bonus Leo GIFS from his star-making turn as Romeo)
So, celebrate the main-man, William Shakespeare, today by reading a sonnet, making a dirty joke, reading one of his plays, or by watching The Lion King….thanks Will!