Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

“Happy Birthday, Will! Thanks for Making Me Use My Brain!” (and More Texts from Your Classrooms)

There’s been a lot of buzz lately around the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, which we commemorated on April 23, 2016. (Yes: tradition says that poor Will died on his birthday in 1616.)

“Thy birth we must applaud.” – Cake and text message by Edgewood HS, Wisconsin
“Thy birth we must applaud.” – Cake and text message by Edgewood HS, Wisconsin

Last week we invited you—teachers and students everywhere—to text Shakespeare your birthday wishes, and the responses were honey-tongued, well-wishing, and OVERWHELMING!

And guess how many text messages our friend Will received on April 23rd, his birth/death day? We promise we’re not making this up…we can’t believe that it’s true but it is… 1616! That’s right: 1616, the year whose anniversary we’re celebrating now.

Big thanks and kudos (from Shakespeare, of course) to all 1616 of you who wrote!

Check out this second installment of your fabulous, sometimes sassy, sometimes sweet, always awesome texts:

  • “Happy birthday, you swag master of literature!” – Andres, Monsignor Pace HS, Florida
  • Happy birthday, Shakespeare. Thank you for inspiring many great authors and actors around the world, especially in small towns.” – Seraphine, Great Falls HS, Michigan
  •  “Even though some might think you’re a ‘luxurious mountain goat’, you’re still my bro. Happy birthday!” – Jess,  Ames HS, Iowa
  • “My genius and yours are friends. Happy birthday, Shakespeare!” – Ruchira, West Windsor Plainsboro HS, New Jersey
  • “Shakespeare, hit me up on Twitter, ‘cuz it’s your bday and I’m throwing U a party!” – Hillary, Valley HS, Alabama
  •  “Did anyone call you Bill? I have a friend Bill, but he isn’t as cool as you.” – Bridget, Pennbrook MS, Pennsylvania
  • “Happy birthday, Will! Thanks for making me use my brain!” – Bella, Mauston HS, Wisconsin
  • “Prince is with you now.” – Chris, West Lafayette HS, Indiana
  •  “Thank you for making the lives of high schoolers complicated.” – Noely, HS 223 – Bronx, New York
  •  “Bill, your stories changed my life and rocked my world.” – Rick, teacher, U of Northern Iowa, Iowa
  • “Happy b-death day, Shakespeare.” – Brian, Shaker Heights HS, Ohio
  • “Your amazing literature has inspired me to become an author.” – Lucas, El Dorado HS, Texas