12 Zany Shakespeare Facts

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5. Fashion was a common theme in Shakespeare’s plays and for good reason. In Hamlet, Polonius declares “For the apparel oft proclaims the man,” and this was true in Elizabethan England, where citizens were required to dress according to social rank. The one exception: actors required costume changes in order to play a range of social classes, allowing a commoner to play a king.

6. Elizabethan theaters would raise a flag to let the public know what type of play would be performed that day. A white flag signaled comedy; a red flag, history; and a black flag, tragedy.

7. Because of the plague that overtook London in the early 1600s, theaters, were closed to help prevent the disease’s spread, so Shakespeare turned his attention to poetry.

8. The original Globe theater burnt down due to a fire caused by props used during a performance. A second theater was soon rebuilt on the original’s foundation. Now a third Globe theater is used in London, true to the original but with modern updates.