Letters to Shakespeare on account of his 450th birthday anniversary
John Colet School students tell Shakespeare what he means to them
This year marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of Shakespeare, so John Colet School students each wrote a letter to Shakespeare wishing him a happy birthday. They took the opportunity to explain the impact he has had on them personally, and society in general.
Some of the letters have been bound in a book to give our Shakespeare Festival Patron, John Bell, others will be published in our school journal, The Eagle Eye, and still others are being reprinted on our various blog sites. Enjoy!
Dear William Shakespeare,
Happy 450th birthday! I hope you have a very lovely birthday.
Thank you for making so many exquisite plays. I love your plays. Your plays are the best in the world.
The play I did was ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. The character I played was Leonato. I liked Leonato because he is the Governor of Messina.
The plays I have done are ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Speak The Speech’.
When I did Much Ado About Nothing I felt brave, strong and courageous. In ‘Speak The Speech’ and ‘The Tempest’ I felt different because I felt scared or embarrassed.
Dear Mr Shakespeare,
My name is Jemima and I attend John Colet School in Belrose. I am writing to thank you for composing many plays and providing us with new words.
Before coming to John Colet I had never been in a play and this year I am lucky enough to participate in 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream'. I play Snout and fairies. I love Shakespeare and I am looking forward to performing at Glen St Theatre. I am really excited about Shakespeare and I wonder how your actors felt.
I would like to thank you for writing many plays and making up words for us to use for the future. Your plays have been a great success especially "A Midsummer Night's Dream". The words you have made make our conversations much more interesting. My favourite word you invented is gossip. I like this because it makes an unusual sound.
Dear Mr Shakespeare,
Happy 450th birthday. My name is Max. I am from John Colet School and I live in Australia. I love your plays and like your songs and Shakespeare, my Nanna has seen your plays.
My class performed ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. I played Don John. I liked my character. My brother Luca played ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and he was Quince. I even saw his play. I saw his play two times.
Dear Mr William Shakespeare
I’m writing this letter to you to wish you a very happy 450th birthday! Your plays are very widely known. I would like to congratulate you on your work, which has now – can you believe it - gone global!!
The plays you write are so unique and so are the characters and their names. Whether your plays are tragedies, comedies, romance – the lot, I love them all. Your comedies allow me to be humorous, your tragedies allow me to be dramatic and romance allows me to do unique things. I am currently practising Macbeth, and I am Macbeth. I love it so much, in fact it’s probably my favourite play. Macbeth allows you to do murder without getting in trouble with the police (but that’s only if you act it out) so I always give it my best because I know that without you I would never be playing Macbeth.
I have benefited from your plays enormously; they have taught me so much like; courage, self reliance, to pay attention, to always stay alert, expression and a powerful voice. Your plays let me run wild and they give me the sense of freedom.
Shakespeare wouldn’t be Shakespeare without expression. I have many favourite quotes and here are a few.
“Hear it not, Duncan for it is a knell that summons thee to Heaven or to Hell!” – Macbeth
“All the world's a stage and the men and women merely players” – Jaques (As you like it).
All your plays have a moral – a useful meaning to them.
For Macbeth I felt it was “Greed has a price tag” and A Midsummers Night Dream “Revenge doesn’t solve everything.”
Your plays just make my day. Just for me to conclude I would like to wish you a happy birthday once more and to tell you how much you have breathed action into my life. I would just like to say thank you.
Sincerely and with Best Wishes (lots of love)