Thursday, 05 May 2016 12:13

Where is Shakespeare's skull?

Where is Shakespeare's skull?

Shakespeare's plays are the monument of a remarkable genius. They are also the reminder of a remarkable era, when under the glorious Queen Elizabeth I, the country's fortunes soared and it entered what is known as the golden age. But, the latest buzz is that the skull of this greatest playwright and poet may be missing from his grave.

Shakespeare, who is regarded as the most eminent literary figure in England and beyond, was born on 26 April 1564 at Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. Shakespeare, who began his career as an actor in London, produced most volumes of his work between 1589 and 1613. His earlier works were comedies and historic novels. These are regarded as the best works ever produced in these genres. In his later years, he mostly concentrated on tragedies. He came up with masterpieces such as Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth, which are considered works of unrivalled literary genius even after four hundred years since he first authored them.


After gaining a worldwide glory as poet and playwright, he is said to have retired and come back to his native place in 1613, three years before he breathed his last. Interestingly, historians have scant records of his private life, and as a result of that his physical appearance and his private encounters and romantic liaisons have remained the subject of intense speculation. 


Now, there is news that his skull is missing from his grave, leading to another set of speculation about possible robbery of his grave. Archaeologists, who did a thorough scanning of Shakespeare's grave recently, have asserted that his skull may be missing.


The researchers used ground-penetrating radar to explore beneath the playwright’s tomb in Stratford-upon-Avon’s Holy Trinity Church. Kevin Colls, who led the study, said the team found “an odd disturbance at the head end.” Colls said: “It’s very, very convincing to me that his skull isn’t at Holy Trinity at all.” 


But Patrick Taylor, vicar of the church, said he was not convinced there is “sufficient evidence to conclude that his skull has been taken.” He said there were no plans to disturb the grave to find out. According to Church records, the greatest playwright was buried on 25 April, 1616 in his hometown church, 100 miles northwest of London. The latest findings are likely to set off intense discussion, scholarly debate and controversial theories surrounding his death.


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