How did Shakespeare die?  What caused his death?

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616. The cause of his death is unknown.  He was 52 years old when he died.  He had been retired for several years and was a grandfather.  He was buried in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford, at the age of 52, on April 23, 1616. Just four weeks prior to his death, on 25th March 1616, William made his will.  Some writers have wondered if this was a coincidence or if he knew he was dying.

A contemporary of Shakespeare was said to have reported the following:

"Shakespeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting and it seems drank too hard

On Shakespeare's tomb is the message:

“Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones”

alyx-randall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

William Shakespeare died April 23, 1616. His cause of death is unknown.

student22 | Student
He died on a drinking binge with his fellow friends but some people, quite a few infact, believe that Shakespeare knew he was ill way before he died because he retired from the theatre in 1613
willshaker | Student

William was out one night, and couldnt get into his house, so he slept outside. it happened to be a very cold night, and he suffered of hyperthurmia, as he got sso cold.   by morning, he was dead.

will was 52 when he died, in the year 1616.

i hope ths answers your question!!!!!!!


taangerine | Student

Shakespeare died in the early 17th century (approximately 1616). The reason for his death is still a mystery today. 

parama9000 | Student

William Shakespeare died in 1616 arguably out of his drinking binge, but there is confirmed theory as to why he died.

arrellbelle | Student

Many people still find it a mystery as to how Shakespeare died; however, a vicar of the Holy Trinity Church, John Ward, kept a diary documenting the event that Shakespeare, along with some friends, went out drinking. While drinking, he contracted a fever. Other people also believe that if you take into account the year, it was a time where diseases and bacteria were greatly abundant and easily passed around.

jess1999 | Student

The cause of Shakespeare's death is still a mystery today. Some people believed that he was sick for over a month before he died. Before his death though, Shakespeare did go drinking with his friends which leads to scholars believing that he contracted a fever there. Remember though that during that time diseases were easily passed around.

Yojana_Thapa | Student

William Shake sphere death is a mystery. But, it is said that when he went out to drink with friends he contracted a fever.