Tonight as we discussed how we continue to be held in awe and inspired and always moved by his language, we wondered if the people of Shakespeare's time understood the loss when he died on April 23, 1616. I have heard the following lines used at weddings and funerals. But for this anniversary of his birth and his death, and to think "reverentially" on the writer who continues to eclipse all others, these lines we give back to the writer himself: He -- the Romeo....we --the Juliet....
Give me my Romeo; and when he shall die
Take him and cut him out in little stars
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
from Romeo & Juliet Act III scene ii