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Shakespeare’s Birthday

April 23

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 23 of April, repeating indefinitely

Shakespeare's Birthday

William Shakespeare, also known as the Bard of Avon, was probably the most famous English writer and playwright of all time.

Surprisingly few facts are known about his life and some people think that he may not have written the plays at all! We do know that he was born in April 1564, and the 23rd of April is considered the most likely date for his birthday.

Many English words first appeared in the works of Shakespeare. In fact he was the first to write down over 3000 English words!

He was also the first to write down many common phrases, such as “Elbow room” (in King John), “heart of gold” (in Henry V) and “dead as a doornail” (in Henry VI part II).

Find out about Shakespeare’s life and work in this BBC video.

Teaching Ideas and Resources

  • Make a list of everyday phrases, like “elbow room”.
  • Watch some scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the BBC Website.
  • Read one of his sonnets, and have a go at writing your own.
  • Tell children the story of one of the plays, and ask them to work in groups to create a freeze-frame showing the reactions of the characters.
  • Use the images in our Shakespeare Pack as discussion starters. The pack also contains lots of resources and activities to use with your children.


April 23
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