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William Shakespeare : 16-February-2013
William Shakespeare : 16-February-2013

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

The statue commemorates the English playwright, William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616).  In 1959, the memorial was repositioned in Shakespeare Place opposite the State Library to make way for the Cahill Expressway.

The English poet and playwright, is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

The Shakespeare memorial group is one or the earlier works of Sir Bertram Mackennal. It is designed at the request of Mr G Henry Gullett who had been a president of the Shakespearean Society for many years.  He held to the view that a statue was the finest memorial and the most fitting.  Standing as though in contemplative mood - holding a quill poised, Shakespeare is attired in doublet and hose, a flowing robe falling from his shoulders. Grouped lower we have figures representing Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Portia,and Falstaff. When questioned about his selection, the sculptor told Sir Henry Braddon that he chose these characters "because these four subjects seemed to him to embrace the cardinal features of humanity, with all its greatness and weakness woven into imperishable thought ." The quotation is from Prospero's speech in the "Tempest," Mr Gullett's favourite play: —
 Our revels now are ended
we are such stuff ,
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. 

This monument was completed in February 1926 and the annual commemorative celebration of April 23, 1926 was held there.  Mr Gullett was not spared to see this group for he died on August 4, 1914. His daughters interpreting their father's wish, completed all the arrangements for the making and erection of the statue, and had this inscription carved on it -

Shakespeare 1564-1616
Presented to the City of Sydney
by G Henry Gullett August 1914. 
And thus Sydney pays her homage to Shakespeare's memory. 
Excerpt from Sydney Morning Herald,  22 April 1933.


Address:Shakespeare Place , Outside Mitchell Library, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.865897
Long: 151.213614
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Statue
Monument Theme:People
Artist:Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:February-1926
Front Inscription

Shakespeare 1564 - 1616

Presented to the City of Sydney by G Henry Gullett

August 1914. 

And thus Sydney pays her homage to Shakespeare's memory

Source: MA,H
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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