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What You May Not Know About a Well-Known Man

Rather than naming the well-known man, you might ask someone else what these phrases have in common: “puppy dog”, “love letter”, “what the dickens”, “marriage bed”, “wild goose chase”, and “elbow room”. Most people wouldn’t be able to tell you what the connection is between these phrases. The answer is that they were all written in print for the first time by the same man. In other words, he was the first person to use all these phrases in written form.

Now, honestly, can you figure out who the man was before I give you his name?

To give you a little more time, I can give you a hint. Nearly all English-speaking people have heard of him and many might admire him. If you still do not know who could have coined all of these different frequently used phrases, they were all written for the first time by William Shakespeare. In fact, in his collective works, he used 20,138 different words. Of those, he was the first person to use 1,678 of them in writing.

Here are some other things that people might not know about Shakespeare:

William had quite a bit of money and didn’t rely on his writing to earn enough money to live on. Most of his money was made from real estate, specifically real estate development, the same way that President Trump earned most of his money. 

Writing wasn’t the only thing, in addition to the real estate, that Shakespeare did, either. He was an actor and actually performed many of his own plays.

One of his most famous plays, Hamlet, was written by a grief-stricken Shakespeare after the tragic death of his son, Hamnet, who died at 11 years of age in 1596, three years before Hamlet was written. 

Hamnet was one of three children, although Shakespeare’s direct bloodline ended with his granddaughter. However, Shakespeare was only 18 when he got married and he married an older woman. His wife, Anne Hathaway, was 26 when he married her. 

Although he is one of the best-known poets or playwrights in the world, and he had ample money when he was alive, William Shakespeare never went to a university or college. That is understandable since he wrote because he wanted to, not because he had to.

You might now know more about William Shakespeare than you did before. Although none of these facts are hidden, most people haven’t thought to even look them up, even if they love Shakespearean plays.


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Written by Rex Trulove

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    • To be totally honest, while I really enjoy some of Shakespeare’s writing, I dislike some of it, too. I found some of what he wrote particularly morbid and a few of his writings had unnecessary (in my opinion) references to sexual activity, though he was clever in how he wrote about it.

      I really did like some of what he wrote, including plays, poems, and prose.

  1. Interesting facts! I’ve never been a fan of Shakespeare but he was so famous I’ve hear or seen remakes of his works!
    It’s a surprise to me though, I imagine him to be poor and struggling between works at some time of his life. LOL, but seems like not.

    • There will always be doubters. Even when he wrote his works, some of his contemporaries thought he was stealing the ideas. They didn’t much doubt that he was writing his plays and sonnets and poems, but they doubted that he was more skillful than they were. lol That even happens to artists, writers, and performers today. People also don’t account for the fact that Shakespeare was wealthy enough that he didn’t at all need to write anything, much less such an extensive collection, so the chances of him being a front-man for a ghostwriter is practically nil. Not impossible, but highly unlikely.

      • Interesting points. Wealth means nothing as far as relevance to literary worth. Writers (as I think you pointed out) love to write!

        The primary driver is that many of his plays have verbiage nearly identical to the far more Educated works of Bacon….

        • Hence, the reason that some of his contemporaries said that they thought he was stealing the ideas of other people. That is the real debate and I doubt that it will ever be resolved. There is little doubt that he was heavily influenced by other writers. Of course, I could say the same about myself. I have favorite authors and although my writing style isn’t the same as theirs, the works of those authors have influenced my writing. It is probably much less noticeable in my case simply because the number of authors I’ve read and who have writing that is available for me to read almost certainly far exceeds what was available for Shakespeare to read.

          True, I don’t write because I need to make a living from it, although at one time, I did indeed need to make a living from my writing. However, in Shakespeare’s day, most writers and playwrights struggled to make a living and that living came from their writing. Most died poor, though Shakespeare didn’t. A majority of people in that age didn’t have the luxury of having a hobby that took substantial time away from making a living.

          It is interesting, too, that Shakespeare had virtually nothing to do with the publishing of what he wrote. He almost seemed indifferent in regard to whether the works were published or not and apparently was more interested in the writing and performing than he was about any of the notoriety or fame that he might gain. Personally, I find that refreshing. So many performers and artists today do what they do for either the money or the fame (or both). Very few do it for the art itself.


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