Shakespeare remembered on 400th anniversary of his death

William Shakespeare died in 1616 in Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK; the cause of his death is still unknown.

FILE: A portrait of William Shakespeare pictured in London. The portrait, painted in 1610, is believed to be the only surviving picture of William Shakespeare painted in his lifetime. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNEBSURG - The United Kingdom, joined by the rest of the world, is celebrating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death.

The playwright's birth is not actually known but historians believe that he was also born on 23 April.

Shakespeare, as one of England's greatest poets and dramatists, produced plays such The Comedy of Errors and The Taming of the Shrew in the early 1590s.

Later in the decade, he wrote tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet and comedies including The Merchant of Venice.

However, his greatest tragedies were written after 1600, including Hamlet, Othello and Macbeth.

Among some of his most famous quotes are:

"To be, or not to be: that is the question". - From Hamlet.

"Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." - From Julius Caesar

"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." - From Twelfth Night

The dramatist died in 1616 in Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom; the cause of his death, to this day, remains a mystery.

At the same time, people across the globe have taken to social media to celebrate the poet's death (with a pinch of humour).

Happy #ShakespeareDay! The King of words πŸ’€πŸŒΉπŸ‘‘

A photo posted by Danielle Gavin (@daniellecgav) on

Ψ¨ΩˆΨ―Ω† يا Ω†Ψ¨ΩˆΨ―Ω†ΨŸ #shakespeare #shakespeare400

A photo posted by Karwan Doorandish πŸ€ (@kdpsoft) on

Even Google UK is in some Shakespeare-celebration mood.

δΈ‰ζ―›πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ #Shakespeare

A photo posted by πŸ‘€Eye (@moniquechak) on

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama has begun his final day in London by touring a theatre dedicated to the work of Shakespeare.

The Globe Theatre is a replica of the circular, open-air playhouse that Shakespeare designed in 1599.

Obama watched a brief performance of a portion of Hamlet, including the famous "To be, or not to be" soliloquy.