Just in case you don’t have it marked on your calendar, April 23 is William Shakespeare’s birthday—at least that’s when we celebrate it, since the exact date wasn’t recorded back in 1564. (Fun fact: He also died on April 23.)
In honor of our favorite playwright’s special day, we rounded up a few jewels to match some of his signature works. And we tried not to get too grisly: Sure, eye jewelry made us think of the scene in King Lear where Cornwall gouges out Gloucester’s eyes…but who wants to think of that? And a hand jewel would be perfect for your pal who loves Titus Andronicus—so many severed hands in that one! But if someone loves Titus Andronicus that much, it might be time to reevaluate that friendship.
Here are five pieces sure to spark conversations with your fellow English majors.
Macbeth just imagined the bloody dagger before he went off to stab King Duncan to death—“Is this a dagger which I see before me, / The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee”—but these gold and diamond earrings are the real deal. Go on—clutch them! Of course, there are daggers all over Shakespeare’s plays, but there’s tons of dagger talk in Macbeth.
“A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!” It’s one of Shakespeare’s most famous quotations, and the last words we hear from the vile King Richard in Richard III. The murderous monarch gets what’s coming to him in the next scene, thank goodness.
A DIY guide to Hamlet: Pick up this pendant, stare at it sympathetically (“Alas, poor Yorick”), and someone might just mistake you for a dithering Danish prince.
In Antony and Cleopatra, Cleopatra kills herself with poisonous snakes, one on her breast and another on her arm: “Poor venomous fool / Be angry, and dispatch.” Probably not historically accurate, but this is a tragedy, not a history play, so let’s not quibble.
This one is inspired by the most famous Shakespearean stage direction of all time. Royal Shakespeare Company actor and former Doctor Who star David Tennant even called it “the most famous direction in theatrical history.” From Act 3 of the weirdo tragicomedy The Winter’s Tale: Exit, pursued by a bear.
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