Want to travel back in time? The house where William Shakespeare was born 450 years ago is still standing, and a replica of the theatre where most of his plays were performed is as close to the original as one can get.
Why do the words of William Shakespeare sound so special to English-speakers? Part of the dramatist's touch lies in his use of a particular rhythm. Listen closely, though, and you may also hear the inclusion of lots of wordplay — much of it sexually suggestive.
Seeing a Shakespeare play on stage is much different from reading it in a book. The actors' gestures and intonation help to make the story clear. Whether it's classical Shakespeare you're after or an absurd parody, the best place to start is with a troupe called RSC.
It is hard to imagine someone writing plays and sonnets that are still performed and read with the same enthusiasm four centuries later — but William Shakespeare did it. Mike Pilewski takes a closer look.
William Shakespeare wrote his plays 400 years ago. His characters use words like "wherefore", "prithee" and "anon", when we'd say "why", "please" and "soon". A modern translation can be a fun way to sort through the confusion and enjoy these great works.