You may be familiar with the increasingly popular celebration of linguistic shenanigans known as International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which takes place annually on September 19th. Did you know, however, that, based on the widespread appeal of that day’s linguistic frivolity, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater created a similar day of fun called National Talk Like Shakespeare Day? Celebrated each year on the Bard’s birthday, April 23rd, it’s an occasion for commemorating Early Modern English expression. It’s also a fun opportunity to honor the life and language of perhaps the most famous poet and playwright in the history of Western literature.

For us, at the Harris County Robert W. Hainsworth Law Library, it’s a day to recognize William Shakespeare’s contributions to and influence on the field of law. According a 2016 article in The Economist, all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays “have been quoted by American courts in over 800 judicial opinions.” We explored the appeal of the Bard and his role as a cultural touchstone in the legal profession, seeking answers to the following:

Why do lawyers love Shakespeare? Was Shakespeare, himself, a student of the law? If not, how did he possess such dexterity in crafting sound arguments? What inspired Shakespeare to write about the law and lawyers, anyway, and why have so many Supreme Court cases quoted or cited his works? Finally, who was Shakespeare?

If you feel inspired to speak like William Shakespeare today but you need a little help, visit 9 of the Best Shakespeare Translator Tools and Apps. And to conclude: Top 5 Shakespearean Goodbyes.

Bray out. Enjoyeth the day!