Imagine if we found a secret stash of Shakespeare letters buried on the site of New Place, Shakespeare’s last residence before his death in 1616. Letters to the Bard from people he once knew, fan letters, legal notices, bills, letters of complaint … perhaps even love letters.
Unfortunately, no such stash of Shakespeare letters exists, but that doesn’t stop us writing our own!
With out “tongues firmly in our cheeks”, let’s create the greatest source of Shakespeare biographical misinformation never discovered. Have fun … and keep it clean!
Dear Mr. Shakespeare ...Write Your Letter
Lady Macbeth and Macbeth
- Lady Macbeth and macbeth request the honour of thy prescence at the noble king Duncans banquet, celebrating his seventeenth victory in battle The celbrations wioll be held at his honours palca so thou shalt wear thy poshest attire. thou shalt arrive early evening and shalt be greated by King Duncan himself
- —Guest Thane Fife
Daggers in Men's smiles
- Dear Fr Persons: I write to you in fearful haste to warn you: the search for you will soon reach maniacal proportions. The King is adamant in vengeful pursuit of any and all Catholics. He remains convinced that you are at the center of this plot to destroy his family and reign and all connected with it. He will leave no stone unturned. As you know his royal family long ago (when he was but a boy) vowed vengeance toward any and all enemies. They even had it codified in a portrait made attesting to that intention. I have seen it. Even the young children in the painting pay homage to and recite 'vengeance.' The king, who trusts me implicitly, has requested that I interview the plotters and I am in process of doing so. It is a sad business to be sure. My kinsman Grant has informed me that you were not in any way involved, except to caution them not to pursue it. I think the king remains presently unaware that several are close kinsmen of mine. If he discovers it, I too will be l
- —Guest Douglas Spaulding
Ben Jonson & Michael Drayton
- Will; What a NIGHT! The Mermaid will never be the same! I know that you've cut back on the sack because of the pox but you certainly came out of your shell last night! Heminges and Condell send along their best to Ann and hope that she wasn't too hard on you when you rolled in. When you recover from your hang-over we want to talk about getting started on the "Folio". Ben Mike
- —Guest Bill Moen
Letter to King James I
- Seeing that it hath pleased your Majesty of your most gracious inclination to justice & right to restore me to be keeper of your game as well in your forest of Waltham, as also in Havering Park, I can do no less in duty and love to your Majesty but employ myself in the execution thereof. And to the end you might the better know in what sort both the forest & the park have been abused, and yet continued, as well in destroying of the deer as in spoiling of your demesne wood by such as have patents & had licences heretofore for felling of timber in the Queen's time lately deceased, presuming thereby that they may do what they list, I was bold to send unto your Majesty a man skilful, learned & experienced in forest causes, who being a dweller and eye-witness thereof might inform you of the truth. And because your Majesty upon a bare information could not be so well satisfied of every particular as by lawful testimony & examination of credible witness upon oath, according to your Majesty's
- —Guest deVereGuy
To the Dark Lady
- Aemilia, bearer of a noble Roman name - but not so noble in the action. I cannot live without thee. But I cannot live with thee. So must I beg? Just one more night ...(Methinks it were a fine title for a song, were I the strummer of an lute)Thy Will without will
- —Guest Young Bat
Letter to John of Gaunt from Richard II
- "Old Gaunt", INDEED! You and your "sceptered isle"! Bushy, Bagot and Green are just LIVID at your insinuations and I'm about to toss my crown into the hazard because of them! That bully, Bolingbroke is pounding at the gate and all WE can talk about is graves and worms and epitahs! Must I SUBMIT!? Then, for Gods' sake. . . .let it GO! Damn you AND your "throne of kings", Gaunt!
- —Guest Bill Moen
Mary, Queen of Scots
- My dear William, Your fellow manservant to the Queen, Edmund, not so long ago, was hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, and it looks as if I am to suffer a similar fate. I entreat thee now, with which may be my last request, to not shrink back with fear, but to be true to the Catholic Faith which we share. In prison's oppression; in sorrow's obsession, with sighing and crying; bowed down in dying. O Lord, my God, Thou wilt set me free. Your Truly, Mary Feb 1 anno Domini 1587
- —Guest elisabeta
A Letter from Edmund Campion
- Dear William: I can't begin to tell you how important your apprenticeship in play writing with me in Prague; you have learned your lessons well. And your acting in my six hour production of 'Saul' was superb. It is rare for a young actor to have the skills to portray both a comic and a serious role so effectively. These skills should serve you well at the Houghtons in Lancashire. You have a bright future ahead of you both as an actor and as a play maker. We will be leaving to head back to England in a fortnight to do our important work. It is very important you remain hidden from view for some time to come given the conditions in England at this time. The 'Commonwealth' will be making its appearance and with its publication, all of us--- you, Sidney, Francis Bacon and the Earl of Essex will be in grave danger. Having served Dudley we know all too well the risk involved. Be on your guard. As for me, I know I court martyrdom, but God has called me to this and I must go. Yours in Christ--
- —Guest Douglas Spaulding
We thank thee for thy payment
- We thank thee for thy payment for the tolling of the bell at thy brother Edmund's funeral obsequies. 'Twas most munificent of thy fellow players to pass round the plumed hat to pay for the tolling of the bell, if not the interment itself. Thy fine family (which attended the ceremony) must be to thee a great consolation. May thy brother Edmund's soul rest in peace. (As we discussed, not the greatest of thy company of players, but a most gentle and modest man.) More anon of my enthusiastic appreciation of thy most authentic gravedigging scene in thy drama, "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." I am most grateful, and thank thee heartily for the pass thee sent to view thy latest play. The mother of Coriolanus remindeth me most fearfully of my mother in law. Ever thy friend and humble servant, A. Sexton, Southwark Cathedral
With Great Respect....
- Dear Sir, I am a devotee of the late (lamented by many) Richard Plantagenet, and I urge you to write an apology to all his admirers for describing a young well-formed man, able to control a heavily armored warhorse, while similarly accoutred and wielding heavy weapons to great account in the midst of battle. His wife - and probably his eldest niece - adored him and he was an all-around great lad. He was NOT, as you have unfairly described him, ugly, bent and nasty. How, indeed, could he, as even his most virulent enemies, admit he did, vanquish all opposing villains if he were so ill-formed? I realize that you are pandering - yes, a strong word, perhaps, but accurate - to the head of a company who might consider sponsoring your little theater, if you do not denigrate her grandfather by claiming he was a good fellow, not a timid bookkeeper who cowered behind nasty turncoats like Mag (the hag)Beaufort's husband and let them ambush a really superior man. You go too far, sirrah!
- —Guest shirlou
From" Dickie" Burbage
- Dear friend Will: "William the Conqueror came before Richard the Second!" VERY funny! And YOU, with a family up north! Leave the chicks to the ACTORS, Will and stick to your writing! (AND, she told me that I was the BETTER man!) Dickie
- —Guest Bill Moen
Moving to London
- Dear Master Shakespeare, This morning I was flabbergasted to learn from your father that you privileged education at the grammar school has failed you. As I understand it, you’re considering running off to London to become a player … an utterly preposterous idea! The benefit of age tells me that this is a phase you’re going through, but for your father’s sake – reconsider. You, your wife and young family deserve the best start in life, and I think little good will come from this “London” venture. I trust you know how much this has upset your Father at the town council? If glove making doesn’t take you fancy, then fine – but at least get a proper job! Sincerely, The Headmaster, Stratford Grammar School