News of Shakespeare’s 400th death anniversary observation is everywhere. This news is of great interest to every English speaking person; especially those interested in English literature and have read Shakespeare at School, College or out of interest; his various works. In United Kingdom and at many educational institutions around the world; the year 2016, the year of Shakespeare’s 400th death anniversary is being observed with great reverence by remembering every work of his which has survived for over four centuries. Many magazines are coming out with information about Shakespeare and news about this eventful year. All this news reminds me of his great works, most of which I have read in its original form…the plays, sonnets and poems and some of them as abridged novels and seen them as movies and the feeling is wonderful.
And for those of you who may have forgotten him, which I consider impossible and those who have not heard of him I will mention about him in brief. William Shakespeare is regarded as the greatest writer in English language, he was born on 26th April 1564 at Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, and he was brought up there. Later he had a successful career in London as an actor, writer and part-owner of a Playing Company. He died early at the age of 52 on 23rd April 1616. During his lifetime he wrote 37 plays – 17 comedies, 10 histories and 10 tragedies. And he wrote 154 sonnets and 2 long poems. All of them great masterpieces still remembered after 400 years. And most of his works have been translated into every major language of the world and are being enacted in those languages.
The above photographs are of the famous full-size marble sculpture of Shakespeare at the British Museum, London, with me standing by its side. This sculpture was commissioned by David Garrick (1717-1779). It was originally placed inside a purpose built, octagonal ‘Temple to Shakespeare’, in the grounds of Garrick’s villa on the bank of River Thames, at Hampton. It was there until 1779, when it was bequeathed, along with Garrick’s books to the British Museum. Later in 2005 it was shifted to the British Library.
The photograph below is my father’s 65 year old publication of Shakespeare’s Complete Works in the original (1376 pages). I too have read most of it and read it at times now. As the proud inheritor of this book, I have put my name on it. That is our love and admiration for Shakespeare and his works.