Most people know that Shakespeare died on his birthday – 23rd April. A lot of people also probably knoe about the suspicions surrounding the validity of the claim that he single handedly wrote all of the plays that are considered today to be the greatest works in English literature.
But I’m not going to discuss that. I want to highlight something else that a lot of people probably will know – that Shakespeare was the first to coin so many of the phrases that we take for granted today. Many people know this, but I remember the first time I found this out – as a teenager I visited The Globe in London, and was most intrigued by this poster that was for sale there. Even reading it now, many years later, I’m still amazed by the number of phrases that have become so integrated into our daily vocabulary that we barely even notice. When someone says something has “vanished into thin air” they don’t for one moment think they are quoting from a play (let alone a 400 year old play.) No matter who exactly wrote all these phrases down first, Shakespeare or otherwise, I still think that’s pretty impressive.