Why is Shakespeare more popular than ever?, asks Will Gompertz Arts editor, BBC, as the UK and world celebrates 400 years since Shakespeare’s death today.
Even Barack Obama has gotten in on the act by visiting the Globe theatre in London to listen to some Hamlet.
“It’s amazing, don’t you think? Shakespeare is more popular today than he has been at any point since his death four centuries ago (there are no hard-and-fast stats to actually prove it, but the scholars to whom I have spoken all agree it is the case),” says Will Gompertz.
It is amazing, and worth asking why.
“The Internet has played its part in the brand Bard propagation (Spark Notes, hem, hem), but it has also produced a mountain of alternative, more contemporary content upon which we could choose to feast. And yet it is Shakespeare who has risen to the top. And not just online where he’s looked up so much that there are now bespoke Shakespeare search engines.
You’ll find him sitting on shelves in African bookshops, on laptops in Lapland, and on stage in jungle theatres.”
And Shakespeare was celebrated in Larisa’s library today with local children getting to learn about Romeo and Juliet and other plays.
The librarians were very dramatic in telling the story and had everyone sitting on the edge of their seat. The stories are very powerful in themselves even without the stunning language and poetry.
But 2016 also marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the great Spanish writer Miguel Cervantes. The creative, hard working librarians have also put on a wonderful event to celebrate Cervantes.
The tops of some of the windmills which Dima improvised are just about visible in the picture.