Re­liv­ing Shake­spearean times: A day at Strat­ford upon Avon

“Friends, Ro­mans, countrymen, lend me your ears…..We all know what we are but no not what we may be….All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely play­ers. They have their ex­its and their en­trances; and one man in his time plays many parts….”

Alive - - News - by Swati Khan­walkar

Well, I too am play­ing my part and bring­ing you my ex­pe­ri­ence of Shake­speare’ s vil­lage. For stu­dents of

English lit­er­a­ture and in par­tic­u­lar, lovers of plays above lines def­i­nitely give a sense of deja-vu.

For, vis­it­ing Wil­liam Shake­speare's home on Hen­ley Street in Strat­fordupon-Avon in War­wick­shire is no less than a pilgrimage! And for me who had learnt the script of clas­sics Mer­chant of Venice and Mac­beth, by heart, it was lit­er­ally a dream come true. Stand­ing in front of the quaint tim­bered house I felt as if I had trav­elled back in time. And the aura of the great­est play­wright of all time was so strong that I my­self was trans­formed into one of its leg­endary char­ac­ters.

Here I was, at the house where the world’s most fa­mous play­wright and poet was born and grew up. As I en­tered the hal­lowed rooms

There is al­ways some ac­tiv­ity hap­pen­ing in and around this house. One can ei­ther watch the life and times of Shake­speare on a gi­ant TV and marvel at the sheer vol­ume of prose and po­etry that this ge­nius churned out dur­ing his life­time. Or else you can wit­ness ac­tual plays and scenes be­ing en­acted by artists draped in pe­riod cos­tumes!

of the 16th cen­tury house, I could 'feel' creativity and char­ac­ters of Shake­speare's famed plays come alive.

Child­hood Days

The house where Shake­speare grew up with his par­ents and spent his child­hood days is now a mu­seum. One can see the rooms where Wil­liam had his meals and slept. Shake­speare af­ter his mar­riage to Anne Hath­away, also spent the first five years of his mar­ried life here. Take a look at the place where his fa­ther, John, earned his liv­ing as a glove maker. The gloves he made and tools used are still on dis­play. Ladies wear­ing tra­di­tional dress greet you and elab­o­rate on the things kept there. You can ex­plore The Shake­speare ex­hi­bi­tion, be­fore en­ter­ing the house and its out­stand­ing gar­dens.

For mil­lions of Shake­speare en­thu­si­asts world­wide, this house is a shrine. Such is the en­dur­ing awe and cap­ti­vat­ing power that Shake­speare holds even to­day and amongst the great­est writ­ers of the world that you will be amazed at the 'greats' who have vis­ited this place. I felt hum­bled to fol­low of other well-known vis­i­tors such as Charles Dick­ens, John Keats, Wal­ter Scott and Thomas Hardy!

Walk through the house into the small gar­den at the back which has flow­er­ing plants that were be­lieved to be known in Shake­speare's time.

There is al­ways some ac­tiv­ity hap­pen­ing in and around this house. One can ei­ther watch the life and times of Shake­speare on a gi­ant TV and marvel at the sheer vol­ume of prose and po­etry that this ge­nius churned out dur­ing his life­time. Or else you can wit­ness ac­tual plays and scenes be­ing en­acted by artists draped in pe­riod cos­tumes!

Re­fresh­ing Snacks

An ad­mirer of Shake­speare one can never have enough of this place. But for giv­ing a brief rest to your limbs and some more food for thought drop into the cafe for some re­fresh­ing drinks and sand­wiches.

A well-stocked Gift shop is a good stop for pick­ing up some sou­venirs and mem­o­ra­bilia some things that you will al­ways cher­ish about this won­der­ful place.

Other must see Shake­speare lo­ca­tions at Strat­ford in­clude Hall's Croft (home to Wil­liam's daugh­ter), Nash's House and New Place (the last chap­ter in his life), the ro­man­tic set­ting of Anne Hath­away's cot­tage and Mary Ar­den's farm (the child­hood home of Shake­speare's mother). The tick­ets to all com­bined is of 20 pounds. Shake­speare owned New Place from 1597 un­til his death in 1616. The build­ing was de­mol­ished and it is now only a gar­den where you can make per­sonal con­nec­tions with Shake­speare.

This Mecca for all lit­er­a­ture lovers was def­i­nitely the high­point of my visit to Eng­land.

Shake­speare's house.

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