Highlights from Shakespeare’s Birthday 2021

Thanks for celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday with us this year! We received many creative and inspiring responses to our invitation to #ShareYourShakespeare on social media. Many people recited a line, speech, or sonnet from Shakespeare’s works. Here are a few of our favorites.


Up Close: A ‘Seven Ages of Man’ painting

Take a closer look at a 19th-century oil painting in the Folger collection that depicts all seven ages of man from Jaques’s speech in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”


Where to Find Shakespeare in April

Find out how Shakespeare theaters across the United States are celebrating the Bard’s birthday this year.


Better than laughing: Renaissance melancholy

The most famous book about Renaissance melancholy, Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), celebrates its four hundredth anniversary this year. Though it was published five years after Shakespeare’s death, it gathers together ideas about melancholy from antiquity right through to the seventeenth century.


Order It: Sonnet 98

It’s springtime, and Sonnet 98 is a wonderful seasonal selection from Shakespeare. Take this quiz to see if you can put the sonnet’s 14 lines into their correct order.