400 Years of Shakespeare: Your top facts!

To commemorate 400 years of Shakespeare, Rising Stars teamed up with Hachette Children's Group to offer a bumper book bundle brimming with goodies to help teachers introduce the next generation of readers to Shakespeare.  

Included in the prize is Clive Gifford's So You Think You Know Shakespeare?  A fact book jammed full of fantastic quiz questions and Shakespeare-related trivia. So, to be in with a chance of winning, we asked you to share your classes favourite Tudor or Shakespearian fact and to tell us why.

We had lots of fantastic answers and had great fun reading through all the entries.

Here’s a selection of our favourites:

  • King Lear was banned from performance of any kind in England between 1810 and 1820, to avoid offending the reigning king, George III, who suffered from bouts of ‘insanity’ himself
  • The word 'rampallian', used in a noisy tavern scene in Henry IV part II, means 'a loud and riotous person.' (Collins Dictionary definition - Noun (obsolete) a scoundrel, wretch, rascal). We also researched the word, and 'rapsacallian' and 'scallywag' come from this word.
  • The word ‘love’ appears 2,191 times in the complete works
  • Shakespeare's parents, wife and his children were illiterate.
  • That Henry VIII was actually a prude, despite his many wives!
  • That Shakespeare was born and died on the same date!
  • Shakespeare left his 'second best bed' to his wife. We love this fact as we use it as a discussion point as to why he left his bed and why was it his 'second best' was it out of love or was it out of Spite... Great for creative discussion and stimulating ideas! 

The winning entry

Our top fact though comes from the Year 6 class of Oxbridge Lane Primary School whose fascinating fact we thought worthy of Clive Gifford’s fact book!

My class love that he 'disappeared' from 1585 to 1592. They think he may have been a spy or went 'undercover' to pinch ideas from other plays!

Thank you to all the schools who shared their fantastic facts with us and especially to Oxbridge Lane Primary - your Shakespeare books are on their way to you. 

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