If surprising facts be the food of love, read on.
William Shakespeare is a true English legend. Probably the greatest writer ever to have lived, his plays and poems are still thought of as some of the most beautiful works in the English language. He?s been delighting audiences and boring schoolchildren for over 400 years.
Given all that, it?s surprising how little we actually know about him. Henry VIII was a fat slob who married six times and liked his music. Genghis Khan had short-man syndrome, Newton liked his apples, Jesus was a sandal-wearing hippie. But Shakespeare? We don?t even know what he looked like.
But while much of his life remains a mystery, we know more and more about the man every year. Scholars are forever unearthing interesting notes and incriminating letters which suggest that he lived a full and fascinating life.
They?re also constantly making us question the things we thought we knew, discovering new evidence about his writing and other pursuits. Shakespeare isn?t just a man, he?s a constantly changing and evolving entity, whose identity we come closer to unpicking every day.
Obviously, given that some people don?t believe he wrote the plays he?s famous for, some theories about Shakespeare are highly contentious. And the millions of theories about him could fill hundreds upon thousands of article entries.
But this article is about the facts. Here are the top 20 things people have unearthed about Shakespeare which might just surprise you.