Macbeth Monday: Did You Know?


Michael Stewart Allen as Macbeth in The Rep’s production of Macbeth. Photo by John David Pittman.

Our 40th Season is here!

And a new show means a new blog series. To highlight all of the cool aspects of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth— our first show of the season– we have launched a week blog series called Macbeth Mondays!

This week, we are looking at a few things you may not know about the Bard, himself, and Macbeth, not to mention a few interesting stats.

Here you go!

Did you know?

  • Over 80 variations on the spelling of Shakespeare’s name have been discovered. Even the Bard himself couldn’t decide how to spell his name, it seems—in surviving signatures, we can see that he used “Willm Shaksp,” “William Shakespe,” and “Wm Shakespe,” among others.
  • The records from Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-up on-Avon show the baptism of baby William Shakespeare on April 26, 1564 (since infant baptisms typically occurred 3 days after birth, Shakespeare’s birthday is traditionally dated April 23, 1564). Coincidentally, he died on the same day 52 years later: April 23, 1616.
  • Shakespeare is credited with introducing some 3, 000 new words to the English language. Scholars estimate that he had up to an astonishing 29,000 words in his vocabulary– that’s at least twice as many words as used by the average speaker.
  • Over the course of his wildly successful career, Shakespeare authored 37 (some say 38) plays, 154 sonnets, and 5 narrative poems. Another way of looking at it? Shakespeare wrote 884, 647 words and 118,406 lines.
  • Shakespeare was worried enough about his final resting place that he wrote an epitaph to curse anyone who dared to disturb his body:
    Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear
    To dig the dust enclosed here:
    Blest be the man that spares these stones
    And curst be he that moves my bones.
    Though it was customary to dig up the bones from previous graves to make room for others, the remains in Shakespeare’s grave are still undisturbed.

By the numbers:

  • 2,113: Number of lines in uncut version of Macbeth
  • 24: Number of times the word “blood” appears in the play
  • 1623: Year Macbeth first appears in print (First Folio)
  • 681: Number of lines spoken by Macbeth
  • 80: Percentage of play written in blank verse (not much prose)
  • 1606: Year Macbeth is written

Pulled from the Macbeth study guide, prepared by Paige Reynolds.

Check back every Monday to uncover a new aspect of this incredible Shakespearean tragedy and book your tickets by calling (501) 378-0405 or visiting

And learn everything else you need to before seeing the drama by checking out our study guide here!

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