Did Shakespeare travel and is it true that he liked whales?

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stefaniecpeters eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shakespeare probably travelled often between his home in Stratford-upon-Avon and London, where his theater company, the King's Men, performed. It is also possible that he travelled with the other actors into the country for touring performances whenever the theaters in London were closed.

There is no evidence that Shakespeare ever travelled out of England, though he did know some French and Italian. He might have learned French while living as a lodger in London with a French immigrant family, the Mountjoys, and his Italian might have come from possible friendships with Italian immigrants Emilia Lanier and John Florio.

I have never heard an argument before that Shakespeare had a particular fondness for whales. However, he does mention them in seven plays: see The Merry Wives of Windsor II.i.65; All's Well That Ends Well IV.iii.249; Henry IV, Part Two IV.iv.40; Troilus and Cressida V.v.23; Hamlet III.ii.398; Pericles II.i.33,36 and III.1.63; and Love's Labor's Lost V.ii.332.