Some interesting bits:
- Shakespeare was only 18 when he got married. His new wife was 26. All of the manipulative older women in his plays don’t reflect very well on Anne.
- The term ‘ham’–for an actor who overplays to the audience–originated during Shakespeare’s lifetime. The acting style of the period was highly formalized and gestural. ‘Ham’ refers to the old-fashioned style of strutting across the stage, exposing the ham-string of the leg.
- The ‘Nothing’ in Much Ado About Nothing of course refers to the sundry misunderstandings on which the plot is based. It also had a more indelicate connotation for 16th century playgoers. ‘Nothing’ was a slang term for female genitalia.
- In his will, he gave his wife the furniture and “my second best bed”. This sounds more provocative than it actually was, as guests usually got the best bed in a 17th century house.