Shakespeare 400 Years On: Part 4

atkins bookshelf shakespeareThe common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance of interesting factoids. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Time magazine writers Sarah Begley and Merrill Fabray collaborated with designer Heather Jones to create a brilliant, colorful infographic packed with amusing factoids highlighting the Bard’s enduring impact on culture. Titled, “Will’s Testament, 400 Years On,” the infographic lists each of Shakespeare’s plays in the order they were published (more or less), surrounded by relevant trivia. Like one of the Swan of Avon’s plays, it takes some time to read and digest. Bookshelf presents Time’s list of 36 plays broken up into tasty morsels of nine plays in four parts. Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to praise Shakespeare, not dismiss him, with thy trivia:

All’s Well That Ends Well
1814: Jane Austen borrows the name Bertram for the hero in Mansfield Park

1606: The play was first performed at the Globe Theatre.

2013: A character from Netflick’s Orange is the New Black recited a monologue from the play

The Winter’s Tale
1997:  J.K. Rowling borrowed the name Hermione for the Harry Potter series from this play
2015: Jeanette Winterson adapted the play into the novel, The Gap of Time 

1925: Virginia Woolf referenced the play in her novel Mrs. Dalloway

The Tempest
1932: A line from the play inspired the title of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World

Henry VIII
1613: During the prologue, the phrase “for goodness sake” is first introduced
1934: That phrase is used in the classic holiday song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

The Two Noble Kinsmen
1664: Poet and playwright, William Davenant, godson of the Bard, revised and produced the play as The Rivals.

Read related posts: The Most Common Myths About Shakespeare
Shakespeare the Pop Song Writer
Random Fascinating Facts About Shakespeare

Most Common Nicknames for Shakespeare
Most Beautiful Books of Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Were Shakespeare’s Sonnets Written to a Young Man?

What Dictionary Did Shakespeare Use?
Shakespeare’s Portrait as A Young Man Discovered


For further reading: Time Magazine, “Will’s Testament, 400 Years On,” by Sarah Begley and Merrill Fabry, April 11, 2016.

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