Shakespeare400: 10 astounding facts about Shakespeare you probably didn't know
Published 22/04/2016 | 15:11
10 things you probably didn't know about the bard...
1 Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway when he was 18. She was 26 and three months pregnant when they married. Their first child Susanna was born six months after the wedding.
2 One of Shakespeare's relatives on his mother's side, William Arden, was imprisoned in the Tower of London and executed for plotting against Queen Elizabeth I (right).
3 Although Catholicism was outlawed in England under the regimes of his patrons Elizabeth I and James VI, it is widely believed that Shakespeare was a secret Papist.
4 Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway had three children - a son, Hamnet and two daughters, Susanna and Judith. His only granddaughter Elizabeth died childless in 1670 so The Bard has no descendants.
5 Shakespeare was an astute businessman with a large property portfolio. He formed a joint-stock company with his actors meaning he took a share in the company's profits as well as earning a writing fee.
6 The Bard has been credited with introducing some 3,000 words into the English language.
7 Shakespeare was not always appreciated in his lifetime. The first reference to him, written by the critic and rival Robert Greene in 1592, called him "an upstart crow".
8 We know that at least two Shakespeare plays are lost and probably gone forever. They are Love Labour's Won and Cardinio. There are probably more missing.
9 Two of Shakespeare's plays - Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing - have been translated into Klingon.
10 An outbreak of plague meant that London's theatres were closed for two years from 1592. With no plays to write, Shakespeare turned to poetry.