How Shakespeare’s Birthday Impacted My Life

Every 23rd of April a day that is very important comes around and that means I will be celebrating the day my Mom gave birth to me. I remember when I was a kid how I begged mom for a set of encyclopedias. Due to my Dad’s health condition and financial situation, my mom was able to get me a set of encyclopedias which were affordable. (I know she sacrificed to get them.)

Being able to read the volumes of the encyclopedia gave me the opportunity to read and read (much like I do know by reading books, blog posts, tweets, and anything else that is readable).

Back to the 23rd of April. I remember learning in those encyclopedia’s that Shakespeare and I were born on the same day. Even more disturbing to me ( especially at that age I was probably eight), was the fact that he also died on the same date. For some reason I instantly related to Shakespeare and every time my birthday would get close, I would be scared of the date since William Shakespeare came into the world and departed 52 years later. Throughout the years I have gotten over the death issue and I enjoy my Birthday as a reflection of where I was the previous year and what I have done.

This year on my birthday I saw the following tweet from a fellow blogger @ajleon and exchanged a few tweets after that related to my Birthday and Shakespeare:

Have you wished Shakespeare a Happy Birthday? #hbw
AJ Leon
@ @ I worry every year because he also died the same day!
Raul Colon
@ Wow, very few people know that. You a Shakespeare guy?
AJ Leon
@ I love history and when I was a kid I use to entertain myself reading the encyclopedia volumes my mom bought me.
Raul Colon
@ Very cool! Did you check out our project? You'll probably like it. Let me know if you want to be a part of it. :)
AJ Leon


Happy Birthday Shakespeare Project

Once I exchanged a few tweets based on @ajleon’s recommendation and invitation, I thought it would be great if I could be part of this Happy Birthday Shakespeare Project. So I signed up and agreed to write about my relationship with Shakespeare which has been a strange one.

What is the Birthday Shakespeare Project :



Although I am able to identify many of Shakespeare’s quotes, I have to confess I have never read any of Shakespeare’s works with the detail I would want. I guess going to High School in Puerto Rico we are given the works of Cervantes’ Don Quijote over Shakespeare’s Hamlet (I guess it has to do with the US being a colony of England and Puerto Rico being a Colony of Spain). Given my lack of commitment to a man that was born on the same day and  416 years before me, I want to at least read two of his complete novels and read all of his Poem’s.

My Shakespeare Challenge

Since many of you might have read Shakespeare’s work with more detail, I want you to help me with my challenge. I have included a list of Shakespeare’s Tragedies which are of interest to me. Help me pick one to read. If I missed one from the list feel free to add other options in the comments menu.

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Julius Ceaser
  • Macbeth
  • Hamlet
  • King Lear
  • Othello
  • Anthony and Cleopatra

So how has Shakespeare affected your life?

I want to thank @ajleon once again for recommending me to this awesome website. Feel free to follow him on twitter he is a great resource. You can also see @ajleon in the following video reciting some of William’s greates quotes.

Related Posts:

  • Prometeo

    Someone said that “ignorance is a bliss”. Sometimes knowing too much can cause discomfort. Seeing Shakespeare’s birthday in that light really is scary.

    • Raul Colon

      I guess I should have playing with My GI Joe’s instead of reading the encyclopedia. O wait I guess the GI Joe’s got me into the military…