Presumably he had a fondness for this young man who may well have played with Shakespeare’s son when he was a boy. We do not know the cause of Shakespeare's death. It’s unclear whether that happens before or after the funeral but that's tied up with funeral arrangements. Lee Jamieson, M.A., is a theater scholar and educator. So we can imagine what Shakespeare’s deathbed was like, but what was his funeral like? So you would have seen this inscription memento mori or ‘live to die’ everywhere you went. I mean death was recorded but not reasons for death - I guess a lot of the time they didn’t know why you died, so what could have been recorded? This story first appears after Shakespeare’s death, but it has prevailed and it’s a wonderfully romantic idea - our famous writer full of beer sleeping in the open air in the English countryside under an oak tree - but the likelihood of it? Report a Problem | That can skew the figures. They're supposed to look slightly removed and otherworldly. REID: Hello, and welcome to the ninth episode of “Let’s Talk Shakespeare”, a podcast brought to you from Stratford-upon-Avon by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Different careers but similar sort of social standing. He would have had to have a funeral of appropriate fitting status but in terms of detail, nothing except the mourning rings. Mitchell, C. Martin. In fact, one of these fevers was so severe that he actually had his will drawn up. Unfortunately, Shakespeare’s death at the age of fifty-two will almost surely remain a mystery. Sometimes they could live for many many years after the funeral effigy goes up. He was a very strong character, was Ben Jonson, a man of great prejudices. There is little evidence, however, that she had fallen out of favor. The other was to do with making sure that you were sufficiently spiritually prepared to meet your maker because in the early modern period, there was a popular culture surrounding the idea of ‘living to die’ and ‘dying to live’.This tradition is known as the memento mori tradition which is a Latin phrase that means ‘remember you must die’. So we can assume that he wasn’t elite that we know, and that he didn’t have any particular investment in a particular type of funeral to show his religious affiliation. There was also a typhus outbreak nearby in the year of his death. Shakespeare’s death is a mystery. Well, we don’t know for certain. The cause of Shakespeare's death is unknown. That is lost like so many other documents of the period. And then there is also advice on how to mourn and grieve appropriately. However, it is one of the few clues we have to go on. They can be caused by a whole bunch of things, including physical trauma, congenital issues, and liver disease. You've just tried to add this show to My List. Celebrating Shakespeare is at the heart of everything we do. It's great because it’s one of the few things we have that's roughly of the right date and we can say that's what he looked like, but it’s been so fiddled with. This was a typical phrase and does not necessarily mean he was not already experiencing symptoms of an illness which later proved fatal. REID: Now I find this sort of thing fascinating. There is still an awful lot of death and mortality around and periodic outbreaks of the plague which takes out huge numbers of the population, but overall the demographic is that actually there are more people around - a population explosion - living longer. Some people believe Shakespeare was a pen name for a group of authors who wrote the famous plays.