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How Tall Is William Shakespeare

by Althea Godito
How Tall Is William Shakespeare

Exploring the Debate Around How Tall William Shakespeare Was

The debate around the height of William Shakespeare has been ongoing for centuries. While there is no definitive answer, historians have explored various sources to try and determine how tall the Bard was.

One source of information is a surviving record from 1602 which states that Shakespeare was 6 feet tall. This record has been widely accepted by many scholars, although some have argued that it may not be reliable due to its age and lack of detail.

Another source of information comes from a description written by John Aubrey in 1680 which states that Shakespeare was “of stature somewhat tall” but does not provide an exact measurement. This description has been interpreted differently by different scholars, with some believing it indicates he was taller than average while others believe it suggests he was only slightly taller than average.

Finally, there are also descriptions from contemporaries such as Ben Jonson who wrote in 1623 that Shakespeare had “a body naturally inclined to action” which could suggest he had an athletic build and therefore may have been taller than average. However, this interpretation is disputed by some who argue that Jonson’s words could simply refer to his physical agility rather than his height.

Overall, the debate around how tall William Shakespeare was remains unresolved due to the lack of reliable evidence available today. While historians can make educated guesses based on contemporary descriptions and records from the time period, ultimately we will never know for sure how tall the Bard truly was.

Examining the Evidence for Different Estimates of William Shakespeare’s Height

The exact height of William Shakespeare is unknown, but there have been various estimates over the years. In this article, we will examine the evidence for different estimates of his height.

The first estimate comes from a document written by John Ward, a vicar in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1662. He wrote that Shakespeare was “of stature something tall” and “of body big enough”. This suggests that he was at least average height for his time period, which would be around 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m).

Another estimate comes from an engraving of Shakespeare made by Martin Droeshout in 1623. The engraving shows him with a long face and neck, suggesting he may have been taller than average for his time period. This has led some to suggest that he may have been as tall as 6 feet (1.83 m).

A third estimate comes from an account written by Sir Thomas Overbury in 1614 which states that Shakespeare was “not very tall” and had a “small stature”. This suggests he may have been shorter than average for his time period, perhaps around 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m).

Finally, there is also evidence to suggest that Shakespeare may have been even shorter than this; some scholars believe he could have been as short as 5 feet 2 inches (1.57 m). This is based on the fact that many of his plays feature characters who are described as being short or small in stature – such as Falstaff or Puck – which could indicate that these were roles written specifically for him due to his own size and physicality at the time they were performed on stage during Elizabethan theatre productions .

Overall, it appears likely that William Shakespeare was somewhere between 5 feet 4 inches and 6 feet tall; however without any definitive proof it is impossible to know exactly how tall he really was!

Investigating the Impact of William Shakespeare’s Height on His Writing and Legacy

The impact of William Shakespeare’s height on his writing and legacy is an interesting topic to explore. While it may seem like a trivial detail, the Bard’s stature has had a significant influence on his works and the way he is remembered today.

Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. He was baptized on April 26th of that year, but no records exist regarding his exact date of birth or physical characteristics. Historians estimate that he stood at around 5’5″ tall, which would have been considered short for a man during the Elizabethan era. This difference in height likely had an effect on how Shakespeare interacted with others and how he viewed himself as an individual.

In terms of writing style, it is possible that Shakespeare’s shorter stature influenced some aspects of his work. For example, many characters in his plays are portrayed as being physically small or weak; this could be seen as a reflection of the playwright’s own feelings about himself due to his size difference from other men at the time. Additionally, some scholars believe that Shakespeare used puns more often than other writers because they allowed him to make jokes about himself without drawing attention to his physical appearance directly; this could be seen as another way for him to cope with any feelings of insecurity related to being shorter than average.

Shakespeare’s height also impacted how he was remembered after death; many portraits depict him as having a larger frame than what historians believe was accurate for him during life due to societal expectations surrounding masculinity at the time period when these images were created (the late 17th century). This discrepancy between reality and art has led some scholars to suggest that these portraits were meant not only to honor Shakespeare’s memory but also serve as aspirational figures for those who felt inadequate due their own physical characteristics or social standing—a sentiment which could have resonated with someone like William who experienced similar feelings throughout much of his life due to being shorter than average by Elizabethan standards.

In conclusion, while there is no definitive answer regarding whether or not William Shakespeare’s height had an impact on either his writing style or legacy after death, it is clear that this detail should not be overlooked when considering both topics together—as it may have played a role in shaping both aspects more significantly than previously thought possible


1. How tall was William Shakespeare?
Answer: There is no definitive answer to this question as there are no surviving records of his exact height. However, based on the average heights of men in Elizabethan England, it is estimated that he was between 5’5″ and 5’7″.

2. What did people wear during the time of William Shakespeare?
Answer: During the time of William Shakespeare (the late 16th and early 17th centuries), people wore a variety of clothing styles depending on their social class and gender. Men typically wore doublets, hose, cloaks, hats, and ruffs while women wore gowns with bodices or corsets underneath them. Both genders also often accessorized with jewelry such as rings and necklaces.

3. What type of plays did William Shakespeare write?
Answer: William Shakespeare wrote a variety of plays including comedies (such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream), tragedies (such as Hamlet), histories (such as Henry V) and romances (such as The Tempest). He also wrote several narrative poems such as Venus & Adonis and The Rape Of Lucrece.

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