Although William Shakespears wasn’t born in London (Stratford upon Avon as everyone knows) he did spend most of his life in London, and seems more like a Londoner than anything else. He is buried in Poets corner in Westminster Abbey alongside other famous writers including Tennyson and Thomas Hardy. No doubt everyone has their favourite Shakespeare play or sonnet (although perhaps if you were forced to study it at school you don’t really like it) – but there is no disagreeing how important he was to English literatre. If you want information on Shakespeare then this link will take you to one of the many websites where you can also read the works. One of the most amazing things about Shakespeare is the number of English words he invented - for example: accused, amazement, assassination, bandit, blanket, champion, flawed, generous, lonely, negotiate, vary and worthless! Actually although this is a commonly held belief there is never going to be any proof (although it maybe the first time the words were used in print) – since an audience hearing words for the first time would have been rather confused. What is more certain is that he introduced some phrases for the first time – “all’s well that ends well”, “in my minds eye”, “breathed his last” … if you want a list of many more such expressions have a look at this link.
The London connection is probably best explored in the Globe theatre – the original disappeared centuries ago but was rebuilt again by the director Sam Wanamaker and opened by the Queen in 1997. It’s on the South Bank in London – not far from the National Theatre and you can have very interesting guided walks and tours there.
If you want to see a play there is the Royal Shakespeare company in Stratford upon Avon (his birthplace) where there are always plays on. It shouldn’t be difficult to find a Shakepeasre play on somewhere in London – check out Time Out for listings of plays. Macbeth is on at the Globe theatre from April 23 to June 27 this year – what an opportunity. There is also a fantastic season at the Globe- called Globe to Globe where all his plays are performed but in different languages.