How to Celebrate Shakespeare's 449th Birthday, the Internet Way

Esther Zuckerman
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How to Celebrate Shakespeare's 449th Birthday, the Internet Way

Today is the 449th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare (we think), and some parts of the Internet have gone positively Elizabethan to celebrate. So instead of getting bogged down in the authorship debate—though the BBC takes on all of that in a piece today about a new book that seeks to settle the argument once and for all—here are some fun ways to honor the Bard on his big day, online. 

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Watch the New 'Much Ado' Trailer

What's more 21st Century Shakespeare than a film version of one of his comedies directed by the guy who made Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Avengers? The UK trailer, released today on Digital Spy, introduces the plot to bring Benedick and Beatrice together, and Don John's nefarious plot to besmirch Hero. 

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Pin Shakespeare

The Folger Shakespeare Library has taken Shakespeare onto Pinterest with a collection of various portraits of the man. Scour those that are both revisionist (Shakespeare in a bandana) and speculative (a portrait that might be Shakespeare). 

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Insult Someone

Shakespeare had a way with words. And, sure, some of those words may have been romantic, but others were way harsh. So, on his birthday, some are remembering Shakespeare with his insults. Make your own: 

For Shakespeare's Birthday, Here's The Bard's Insult Generator, Thou Tottering Pox-Marked Footlickers!…

— WFMU (@WFMU) April 23, 2013

Or have one made for you

Or get schooled on them via TED: 

Happy birthday, William Shakespeare! Honor the Bard with your favorite insult:

— TED-Ed (@TED_ED) April 23, 2013

Learn How to Perform Shakespeare From the Best

The National Theatre in London, often a place to see great Shakespeare, has tweeted out a playlist of videos on the Bard.

Here's another #ntTuesdayTreat to celebrate #Shakespeare's birthday, a playlist of Shakespeare related videos:

— National Theatre (@NationalTheatre) April 23, 2013

Watch Nicholas Hynter conceive direction for a scene from Twelfth Night, or legendary Shakespearean actor Simon Russell Beale explain his thought process in Much Ado. The National Theatre is currently doing a production of Othello

Choose Which Play to Read

Goodreads has an elaborate infographic to guide you