Once again April 23 has arrived! Shakespeare Day is what we like to call it around here. I tell people it’s a very big holiday in my universe, and I’m not lying. Traditionally I spend the day online. I queue up a marathon of posts throughout the day and generally immerse myself in all things Shakespeare. At least, as deeply as my daily responsibilities otherwise allow.
What makes me sad, though, is when Shakespeare Day falls on a weekend, as it does this year (Sunday). I generally do not have the freedom to hang out in front of the computer all day on Sundays. Sundays are for family time. I still queue my posts and monitor Twitter by phone, but it’s not the same. I never feel quite as joyous. My mind is elsewhere.
How about everybody else? My Shakespeare universe is generally limited to the online world, there are not many Shakespeare Day parades or celebrations. I mean, sure, I bet I could find one. But I think of you all as the community that I’m really interested in hanging out with. Part of the celebration of the day is not just Shakespeare the man or his works. It’s the people that keep him alive in all the ways that we do.
That last paragraph reminds me of David Garrick and his Shakespeare Jubilee. Maybe next year I’ll dress up? Nobody would get it, of course, and I’d have to spend the entire day telling the story.
Which I’m totally cool with.
One more thing?
This came up last year. One does not celebrate Shakespeare’s death. You celebrate his birth or his accomplishments. You commemorate his death. If you catch people calling today the day we celebrate Shakespeare’s death, please go ahead and correct them. It makes him sound like a super villain. That’s one of the reasons I use Shakespeare Day to describe April 23. I don’t want it mired down in stuff like that. It is a day to celebrate Shakespeare’s work, and how it makes life better.