Long live this, and this gives life to Thee


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A Google search of Shakespeare locates 129,000,000 results.  WOW!  Imagine that.  Our friend William Shakespeare is still going strong, even at 451 years of age.  After all this time, we are still uncovering new theories about London’s leading dramatist.  Some of the most recent information written about the Bard revolves around the discovery of an additional play, Double Falsehoodwhich has long been attributed to another writer named Lewis Theobald, but which according to new research, was most likely penned by Shakespeare, with some collaborative effort by his friend John Fletcher.

See?  There are always interesting things to learn about our friend, Bill the Bard.

What else can you discover about the poet and playwright from Stratford-upon-Avon?  Visit a couple of these sites suggested by our students and share some knowledge gleaned in a comment below.

Kyle suggests Absolute Shakespeare for absolutely everything you need to know about the Bard.

Shane, Emma, Grace, and Courtney advise you to read and watch a biography of Shakespeare at Biography.com.

Lizzy says Shakespeare is easy to understand if you check out NoSweatShakespeare.

If you want to know more about Shakespeare as a poet, try Poets.org offers Sophia.

One of Lexi’s favorite Shakespeare sites is Shakespeare-online.com.  You can spend hours and hours in here!

To learn how Shakespeare is faring on this side of the pond, try Shakespeare in American Communities suggests Brianne.

Let’s learn about Shakespeare!




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40 thoughts on “Long live this, and this gives life to Thee

  1. I learned a lot about Shakespeare when I visited the site No Sweat Shakespeare,on that site I read about a play he wrote called Timon of Athens. Timon of Athens is a very interesting play about how Money cannot buy friendship. Have you ever read or heard about that play?

    • Hi Shannon,
      I visited the “No Sweat Shakespeare” website and it is packed full of new information! I learned that Shakespeare spelled his name many different ways such as “Willm Shaksp”, “Willm Shakepere” and “Wm Shakspe.” I think that is pretty weird that he had so many ways of spelling it and no one knows how his name was actually spelt. I have not read Timon of Athens, but I think it sounds very interesting and has a good moral. Out of Shakespeare’s plays that you have read, which is your favorite?

      • Hi Raina! That is very interesting that Shakespear spelled his name many different ways. I wonder how he chose to go by the one we use today. My favorite Shakespear play is Hamlet. What is your favorite Shakespear play?

  2. Hello Mrs. Donofrio! I’m thrilled to know that we are finally in the month of the bard’s birthday! I can’t believe that there are so many searches on Google for William Shakespeare. There isn’t much I haven’t learned about Shakespeare, but I thought it was interesting that Shakespeare has over 130 famous quotes. What is your favorite thing about Shakespeare? Hope to blog you later!


    • Hi Hannah,
      Hmmm…..my favorite thing about Shakespeare? Well, this may sound strange, Hannah, but one of my most favorite things about Shakespeare is that he had his first child so early and unexpectedly. It reminds me that we can recover from events that seem like they might do us in at the time. Although Shakespeare made a poor choice early in life, he recovered from it and did amazingly well. On the flip side, my least favorite thing about Shakespeare is that he didn’t stay with his family or bring his family to London to be with him. I don’t know why he didn’t take them with him. Perhaps Anne didn’t want to live in a big city. It does seem sad, though, that he wasn’t around for his children and wife on a daily basis. I’d like to learn more about why he left Stratford and how well he got along with his wife and children for the remainder of his life.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  3. Hi, Mrs. Donofrio,
    Thank you for the variety of websites in your blog post… since I just moved to Florida this year, I came to Epiphany only knowing that William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet. But, when I looked at these websites, I learned that in 1585 there was “the lost years”. I am still trying to understand what it was actually, but I did remember in a TV show called “Castle”, the main character was missing for two months. Once he was found, he had no idea what was going on, he didn’t know he was ever missing! The weird thing is that policemen were tracking him and then one day they completely lost track. So, he was moving, but he had no idea how when he woke up. The episode when we find out what really happened to him is this week, can’t wait! See you in class,

    • Hi Erin,
      That sounds like an interesting show, and I love the name, Castle, because it reminds me of Shakespeare’s time period (and the Middle Ages, too). The Lost Years for Shakespeare refers to period of a few years when there is no record of what Shakespeare was doing. We know when he married Anne Hathaway and had his children in Stratford-upon-Avon due to marriage and birth records (1585- birth of the twins), and we know when he wrote his first play in London, 1592, but we have no idea what he was doing between 1585 until 1592. After 1592, we have a fairly good idea of what he was doing because he wrote so many plays from then on. Does that help you understand what The Lost Years are? I hope you enjoy learning lots more about Shakespeare, Erin. I think it’s amazing that someone who lived so long ago still has such an impact on our entertainment today. Can you think of any songs, movies, t.v. shows that have Shakespearean references?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

      • Thank you for telling me more about The Lost Years, very interesting and very long ago! It still shocks me that Shakespeare walked 146 miles home. I would most likely pass out after five miles! I know that Taylor Swift’s song “Lovd Story” is about Shakespeare’s VERY famous play “Romeo and Juliet”. I remember when I was little, that album was my favorite because all of her songs were so up-beat. My mom got me the deluxe version of her CD and it had her music video for “Love Story” when you hook it up to a TV. Maybe one day in class we eill watch it! What would be your favorite play Shakespeare has written?

        • Hey Erin!! I love Taylor swift too!! My favorite Shakespeare play would have to be Romeo and Juliet. They risked everything in their love story, and even though it was a tragedy, it still has a happy ending. They both swore to be together always and so they did but in a different way. If you had to choose to be with the one person you loved the most, would you accept death? I think it would depend, if someone I loved died, I would want to make my life all the better to make that person proud. Wouldn’t you?

        • Hi Erin,
          When I was researching modern day allusions to Shakespeare, I came across Taylor Swift’s video. I had heard the song, but never watched the video. It is a very strong reference to Romeo and Juliet. Maybe one day in class we will watch it. I do like Taylor Swift, especially after watching her Scholastic video earlier this year. Do you think One Direction will ever record a song based on a Shakespearean play? Perhaps they will write a song based on Much Ado About Nothing. That is a comedy about love; sounds like it is right up their alley, doesn’t it?
          ~Mrs. Donofrio

  4. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    The top five new facts that I learned are right below..
    1. Shakespeare never attended a university.
    2. Shakespeare’s plays have over 600 references to birds.
    3. He had a earring in his left ear.
    4. He wrote his first play when he was 25 years old.
    5. Shakespeare was a Roman Catholic.

    What is the most interesting fact that you know about Shakespeare?

    • Hi Anthony! I found some other interesting facts!
      1.Shakespeare wrote 1.5 plays a year!
      2.Shakespeare was 49 when he wrote his last play.
      3.Shakespeare’s shortest play, The Comedy of Errors, was his shortest play which consisted of 1,770 lines long.
      Hope you liked the facts!

      • Hey Mrs. Donofrio,

        After a short time of research I found the following facts about Shakespeare…

        1. He never attended a university
        2. His play’s were so amazing that people today still preform them.
        3. He lived through the Black Death.
        4. Was a Roman Catholic
        5. The last play he wrote was Two Noble Kingsmen

        • Wow, kids! You have learned a lot of interesting facts about the Poet from Avon. Here are a few more tidbits that I have learned in my research:
          1. Shakespeare has the largest working vocabulary of any writer with over 24,000 words.
          2. The largest collection of Shakespeare materials is housed in the Folger Museum in Washington, D.C.
          3. Hamlet is being performed in every single country of the world in a two-year tour called Globe to Globe, organized by The Globe Theater.
          4. Saying the title of the play “Macbeth” is considered bad luck in the theater, so the drama is called “The Scottish Play”.
          5. Shakespeare’s twins were named after friends of William Shakespeare in Stratford-on-Avon, the baker Hamnet and his wife, Judith.

  5. Hi Mrs.Donofrio!
    I looked at all the links but found Kyle’s suggestion of the website Absolute Shakespeare was my favorite. On that website I found so many interesting things including a list of Shakespeares plays that have been made into movies! I knew about some you had told us about like Hamlet and Midsummer Nights Dream, but did you know there are about 250 movies made! The next website I loved was Lexi’s suggestion. You were right you can spend hours on there! My favorite section though was the analysis sidebar. It had tons of very detailed notes about Shakespeares plays. If I ever have a huge test on a Shakespeare play I am going to that website for sure! I love Shakespeare week so much sorry I can’t be there in person!-Sydney

  6. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I really like the picture you used above. It reminds me a lot of Shakespeare. After going on a few of the sites I learned some new things. I learned that in his will, most of his belongings went to hid oldest daughter, Susanna. I also learned that 15 of his 37 plays were written by 1597. I hope to learn more about Shakespeare by the end of the year. What is your favorite fact about the Bard?

    • Hello Brianne!
      My favourite fact that I know about Shakespeare is that he had a mistress, whom he called the Dark Lady. He wrote sonnets 127- 154 to her. I just think it is sad that Shakespeare wasn’t faithful to his wife, which he should have been. He didn’t really call her beautiful, but describes her rather oddly-
      Sonnet 130

      Coral is far more red than her lips’ red

      If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

      But no such roses I see in her cheeks.

      Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

      He is not talking about her very kindly, I think. I wonder if he wrote about his wife in this way?
      Do you have a favourite sonnet?

  7. Hello Mrs. Donofrio!
    Today, I visited the site Absoluteshakespere.com . I found this site very interesting, and actually spent a lot of time on it just looking around. But the part I found the most interesting was the glossary. In the glossary, I found a lot of words that he used in the plays. Here are some of my favorites:
    Baffle- to confuse or disgrace
    Bale- evil, mischief
    Disponge- to pour down
    Frippery- an old clothes shop
    Gawds- toys or nicknames
    I also found two phrases that I found interesting:
    My cake is dough on both sides- our plans are quite fustrated
    Fubbed off- to put off something with excuses.

    What are some of your favorite shakespereian words or phrases?
    ~ Katie

  8. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    Here are some things I never knew about Shakespeare.
    1. The bard invented the word assassination.
    2. Shakespeare never attended a university.
    3. Shakespeare was around 25 when he wrote his first play.
    4. Bill the business man was a very good one in deed. He was considered one of the best business men in the city.
    5. There was another Shakespeare family in Stratford, not related to William at all. They never became famous 🙁
    How many of the things listed did you know?

    • Hey dan
      I only knew a couple thing that were on you list they are number two and three and be the way how did you find out about number four.

    • Hi myself,
      I never knew that Shakespeare never went to a university. Who knew college wasn’t necessary to become a genius play writer! I also didn’t know that Shakespeare was a good business man. Our Dad is also a good business man. I only knew all of those things because I wrote the comment! But I didn’t know any of the things when I wrote the comment. Visit your blog at danielhk.edublogs.org/

      • Hi Myself,
        Thanks for responding to my comment! Did you know the that if we end each comment with a question, we could basically create a endless paradox of responding to my own comment?

        • Dear Daniel and Yourself,
          You are making me laugh out loud. Thank you for your comedic conundrum of a comment.
          Here’s an interesting factoid for you: Shakespeare is said to have the largest vocabulary of any writer with over 24,000 working words. For comparison, Homer, of Iliad and Odyssey fame, used just a bit over 9,000 words. The Bard just gets more impressive the more you know. Don’t you agree?
          ~Mrs. Donofrio

  9. Dear Mrs.Donofrio,

    Happy Birthday to Shakespeare I can’t believe he is only 52 years old!
    He made a lot of words like eyeball, hint, gloomy, cater,caked and a lot more. Do you know another Shakespeares words are?

  10. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    Did you know that Shakespeare’s home in Stratford (New Place) stood on the corner of Chapel Street and Chapel Lane, and was the second largest house in the town. It must have been a very holy home!

    • Hi,

      Yesterday in class I learned that he moved to a house that was called the New Place I wonder why he called it that? Do you know why he called his house the New house?

      • Hi Courtney,
        I actually don’t know why Shakespeare named his house New Place, but maybe back in the day when you bought a house it came with a name? What do you think your house would be named if it had a name?

  11. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    Great links! I especially like the Absolute Shakespeare one. Thanks for the suggestion Kyle. These are a few of the new facts I learned about the poet and playwright from Stratford-upon-Avon:
    ~The Bard spelled his last name different sometimes and people are unsure if Shakespeare is actually how you spell his last name.
    ~ One of Shakespeare’s relatives on his mothers side was arrested for plotting against Queen Elizabeth I.
    ~The Comedy of Errors is Shakespeare’s shortest plays.
    What is your favorite Shakespeare play?

    visit my blog @ http://www.abbylsblog.edublogs.org
    – Abby

    • Hi Abby! I like your comment,those are very interesting facts about Shakespeare. That fact about one of Shakespears relatives that was arrested for plotting againtst Queen Elizabeth I was very intersting to me.To answer your question my favorite Shakespear play is Hamlet because it’s so dramatic and “The Lion King”is based on it! What is your favorite Shakespear play?

      • Hi Abby! My favorite play is the Twelfth Night. I like this play because there was a movie based on it starring Channing Tatum.
        The play is about to twins, a boy and a girl named Viola and Sebastian. They are shipwrecked and separated. Viola is disguised as a boy fall is love with Duke Orsino, who is in love with Countess Olivia, but then Countess Olivia falls in love with Viola, who she thinks is a man.
        I love the play and I would recommend it.

        Do you know any movies based off of one of Shakespeare’s play?


  12. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    I like the picture you used for this post, it reminds me so much of Shakespeare. I’m so excited for the Bard’s birthday party coming up next week! I went on some of the websites, and all of the facts were very interesting, but the one that I thought that was neat that I never knew before was that Shakespeare knew 7 languages! That’s very impressive, because sometimes I can’t even keep up with my own English! What’s your favorite Shakespeare fact? Are we going to watch any Shakespeare videos that people made into movies?

  13. Hey Shannon,
    No, I have never heard of the play called Timon of Athens. Have you ever read the play called Comedy of Errors? It is Shakespeare’s shortest play that he ever wrote. I found that very interesting but the most interesting fact that I found was that he never attended a university! I mean how could someone be so smart without attending a university. Did you know Shakespeare did not attend a university?

  14. Hi Mrs. Donofrio!
    I learned a lot about Shakespeare on these websites. Did you know that when he was about to die, Shakespeare left his daughter, Susanna his property and for his wife, Shakespeare wrote: “I gyve unto my wief my second best bed with the furniture”. The “furniture” was the bedclothes for the bed. Shocking isn’t it?
    I also learned that one of Shakespeare’s relatives on his mother’s side, William Arden, was arrested for plotting against Queen Elizabeth I, imprisoned in the Tower of London and executed. And later on Shakespeare went on to perform for the Queen herself and Queen Elizabeth loved his plays.

    So those are some facts I learned and I hope to learn more!

    – Christine

    • Hi Christine,
      You learned some really intriguing facts about Shakespeare! I did know about he “second” best bed; lots of people think that means Shakespeare wasn’t too fond of his wife, but I have also read that the second best bed was the husband and wife’s bed and that the best bed in the house went to guests in the guest room, so actually, giving his wife the second best bed would have been most appropriate. Also, the law provided for the wife of the husband to receive most of his money, so there was no need to restate that explicitly in the will. Interesting, huh?
      I had also heard the story of the relative in the Tower of London, but had forgotten it until I read your comment! Thanks for sharing!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

    • Thank you for visiting us, Mia. Some of my students will visit you this week when we have computer time. Do you like to read Shakespeare? Have you studied him in school?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  15. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I visited no sweat Shakespeare. I have been studying Shakespeare for three years now, so I have to look around for newer information, but I learned that Shakespeare spelled his name many different ways! Some of the ways he spelled it included “Willm Shaksp,” “Willm Shakepere” and more That must have been very confusing for his friends to decide which one to use! If you had to spell your name differently, how would you spell it?

    • Hi Raina,
      I know what you mean about hunting around for new information to share about Shakespeare. I feel the same way. After three years, you kids have a very solid grip on the Bard, and it is challenging to find much more to say about his life than what we have already learned. Of course, there is always more to read and and learn about his plays and sonnets, but that has to be approached carefully at our middle school age.
      If I had to spell my name differently, I think I would write:
      Alissabeth Denoffrio
      What about you?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  16. Hello Mrs. Donofrio,
    I found the site no sweat Shakespeare and I love all the facts about Shakespeare like I learned that in 1585 there was the lost years that when he started to write his pomes and sonets and I loved all of the but sonet 18 stuck out the most that is the most common sonet. What is your favorite poem by Shakespeare?

  17. I really like this post! It has a lot of good websites to visit! I went to “NoSweatShakespeare” Pitney had a lot of good quotes from play that Shakespeare wrote. I found out that Shakespeare spelt his name a few different ways. That’s really cool! I knew that Shakespeare left the best bed to his wife, Anne. I didn’t know that he left Susanne his property. Would you be happy if you got the best bed?

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