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People hold up face masks with Shakespeare’s portrait during celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of his death this year. It was a completely different story when he died. Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Why was Shakespeare’s death such a non-event at the time?

This year, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death has been marked by a flood of events around the world. But why did his exit cause so little public grief at the time, in and beyond the country of his birth?

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