It was four years ago on a rainy Sunday afternoon that my husband and I were able to visit Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Being able to visit England at all was a dream come true. Going into the church where Shakespeare was baptized as a baby and was also buried in was an amazing experience for me.
I should have had my husband stand next to this sign so you could see how low the door here actually is. I suppose this sign pointing to Shakespeare’s grave is taken down while they are having services, but it seemed rather makeshift for a grave that has been here for almost 400 years.
Just entering these old churches gave me a sense of awe, thinking of the history of the places. Building a place to worship God so many years ago–did any of those builders and craftsmen think this place would be here so many years later? How many sermons have been preached here and how many songs of worship have been sung?
I suppose the people that live here and worship at this church are accustomed to having Will’s grave right there, front and center. I can’t help but wonder, however, what Shakespeare himself would think about it. I’m sure he would have something clever to say. Something like: “And so from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe, and then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot; and thereby hangs a tale.” Oh, right, he wrote that in that fairly well-known play, As You Like It.
Why do we continue to celebrate the life of someone who died 400 years ago? Because his works are still alive. There are few writers whose works continue to impress with their skill at telling a story and their ability to use words as a master craftsman.
A tour of one of Shakespeare’s first folio is making its way across the United States. Read more about that here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/shakespeares-first-folio-goes-tour-us-180957736/?no-ist
Read all of his works and looking for more? Check out these young adult titles which feature a story line taken from Shakespeare:
Still Star-Crossed Melinda Taub (Romeo & Juliet)
They Were Liars E. Lockhart (King Lear)
Loving Will Shakespeare Carolyn Meyer (fictionalized account of Shakespeare meeting future wife, Anne Hathaway)
The Fool’s Girl Celia Rees (Twelfth Night)
Enter Three Witches Caroline B. Cooney (Macbeth)
Read about these and more at: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2016/03/25/booklist-shakespeare-inspired-ya-fiction/
I’m listening to the audio version of They Were Liars right now. What about you? Going to read any Shakespeare this weekend to celebrate the past 400 years of literary genius?
Makes me remember our trip to Stratford. My dad was thoroughly unimpressed (disgusted?) with the church’s selling of little Shakespearean baubles in the back and made us leave right away. Such disappointment, but we toured some houses and such. We’re reading Twelfth Night as a family, so since I’m currently between reads, I might check out The Fool’ss Girl. Thanks!
It does seem like there was a little shop in the back but we only saw it on the way out & didn’t go in. Mostly I remember a nice old man selling tickets to go inside the area where the graves were. I asked for 2 tickets, but he only sold me one. I guess he could tell my husband was only humoring me by being there. Anyway, he was nice & I talked to him for a bit. Sorry your experience wasn’t as great.
If I remember correctly, a service was going on too, so I’m not sure what we could’ve seen. Being a kid, that might have had as much to do with it as anything, but I remember my daddy’s diatribe against selling in church!