Shakespeare turned 450 years old today

William ShakespeareI don’t quite know how I’d missed this until the latter half of the day—I’m actually surprised Google didn’t do a doodle on this today—but William Shakespeare was born 450 years ago today (April 23).

(Okay, to be fair, nobody actually knows for sure that Shakespeare was born on April 23; however he was baptized on April 26, 1564 so the 23rd is as good a guess as any. It also holds an appealing parallel to the date of his death: April 23, 1616.)

But 450! That’s a milestone. Only 50 years until the big 5-0-0. It’s pretty amazing to think of the influence on the English language for so long—and no end in sight—that Shakespeare had. And I’ve said it before, but if you’ve never seen Shakespeare performed live—at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland would be my top recommendation—then you really should; it’s eye-opening and will change whatever opinions you might have about his works.