Here’s a fact about me, I’m a sucker for trivia. That girl with the intense look of concentration on her face and an NTN trivia box in front of her, yeah that’s me. Or that uber competitive girl you spy out of the corner of your eye at pub trivia, yup guilty. So, because I love trivia and tidbits of obscure info so much, I thought I’d bring you some of the bits of knowledge I’ve uncovered during the course of this Shakespearience. Now *this*, my friends, is the tidbit most likely to be found in a Trivial Pursuit game. Shakespeare’s birthday is commonly considered to be April 23rd. The very same day of his death. Bizarro, huh? Oh, and less trivial – Lyric Arts will be celebrating his birthday with cake, live music, travelling players, and costumes at the show that night. It’s worth mentioning again, that if you come in costume, you’ll get yourself a free ticket to the Renaissance Festival.
Next random fact…there’s been some arguments over whether Shakespeare really *is* Shakespeare. What do I mean by that? Ok, there definitely was a guy named Shakespeare, but people argue over whether or not he was really the one who wrote the plays. The other possibilities? Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford; author Sir Francis Bacon, and playwright Philip Marlowe. Conspiracy lovers, pay attention, here come the details... de Vere was a nobleman at Queen Elizabeth’s Court, and people talk about the similarities between de Vere’s life and that of Shakespearian characters. Bacon kept a notebook or journal that supposedly contains many of the same themes as the plays. But my favorite is Marlowe. He was killed in 1593, but his proponents say that he faked his death and thus had to publish the plays under a pen name.
So, this picture you see here is known as the Droueshout Engraving. “What’s so special about it?” you ask. Oh, yeah more controversy. Lillian Schwartz, a digital artist who also worked as a consultant at Bell Laboratories, compared the Droueshout engraving of Shakespeare to a portrait of Queen Elizabeth. Through computer analysis, Schwartz found that the features in Elizabeth’s portrait were the very same as in the engraving of Shakespeare, even down to the distances between their component features. That they are in fact the very same person. Some people believe that this means that Elizabeth was the author, and this was someone’s way of illustrating that fact.
Have some more tidbits or tadbits you’d like me to uncover? Drop a line down in the comment box, and I’ll have an answer for you on Friday. Wondering just what a Shakespearience is? You can find out more at Jessica’s Shakespearience.