Weird facts about William Shakespeare include the fact that he wrote a curse for his own epitaph, his father was once a professional drinker and that he spelled his own name wrong. He also either coined or popularized several common phrases still in use today.
Before Shakespeare died, he is said to have written the epitaph that appears over his grave. It ends with the line, "And cursed be he that moves my bones," which is a direct warning to anyone who would dare to disturb his remains.
Shakespeare came from humble backgrounds. His father was a tenant farmer by trade, but he did a wide variety of different jobs throughout his life. One of his jobs was ale testing. His responsibilities included drinking beer and inspecting bread.
Shakespeare spelled his own name in a number of different ways, including "Shakspere," "Shakspeare" and the abbreviated "Shakp." His contemporaries also spelled his name several different ways.
Many of the words that Shakespeare used in his plays seem commonplace in present day; however, there are many words in his plays that did not previously appear in written form. This could mean that he either invented the words or had a large hand in making them popular. Words and phrases invented or popularized by Shakespeare include "in a pickle," "lackluster," "fashionable" and "wild goose chase."
Shakespeare has had many fans throughout history. The Russian empress Catherine the Great translated and adapted "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and "Timon of Athens." It is rumored that Mozart was commissioned to write an opera version of "The Tempest," which never came to be for unknown reasons. Orson Welles adapted "Julius Caesar" in 1937 to criticize the fascist powers in Germany and Italy.