Day 9 – Stratford-upon-Avon
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!!”
Today we explored the truly wonderful home town of William Shakespeare. In his day his work may have only reached a few thousand people, but he is now a worldwide phenomenon and literary might who has influenced countless people. His plays have been translated into 124 languages across the world and he introduced 1710 words into the English Dictionary including ‘Love’, ‘Excitement’ and ‘Alligator’!
Today’s first stop was William’s birthplace. The timber home was beautiful and it was easy to see how it could influence his early work. The signed stained glass windows of lovers of literature were a joy to marvel at – unfortunately we couldn’t find the signature of Charles Dickens but some of the students did have a go at acting out A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the gardens! After his birthplace it was time to view his final resting place in Holy Trinity Church after a delightful walk along the riverside and through the beautiful gardens. William’s stature in society was certainly confirmed by how magnificent the site of his burial was. The final part of the day involved an exclusive backstage tour of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, where we found out some of the secrets behind the success of the company. It was truly a privilege to explore such a prestigious theatre. It was then time to go home and get ourselves ready for the next on-campus day. However today we certainly discovered that Shakespeare was not for an age, but for all time!