Inside The Sweet Theory That Anne Hathaway & Her Husband Are Reincarnated Versions Of Shakespeare And His Wife

The course of true love never did run smooth, after all.

william shakespeare, anne hathaway, adam shulman Massimo Todaro / Tinseltown / Shutterstock

Over the years, there have been quite a few conspiracy theories surrounding celebrities in Hollywood. However, there is one conspiracy that is much sweeter and romantic than the cryptic and unsettling.

If you were paying attention in your high school English class, you'll know that actress Anne Hathaway shares her name with the wife of William Shakespeare. Some people have taken that fact and believe that Anne Hathaway and her husband are reincarnations of significant historical figures. And the evidence is compelling. 


Conspiracy theorists allege that Anne Hathaway and her husband are William Shakespeare and his wife reincarnated.

For most of us, the similarities between the two women — their namesake — who lived centuries apart, ends there. However, the bizarre details behind the theory include way more connections between the Hollywood star and Shakespeare's wife.

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After Hathaway married actor Adam Shulman in 2012, many couldn't help but see a strange resemblance between Shakespeare and Shulman. The theory claims that Shulman, a jewelry designer, is a reincarnation of the famous English playwright, due to Shulman’s resemblance to Shakespeare and the fact that his wife’s name was also Anne Hathaway.


The theory first appeared on the Internet in 2018 after a Twitter user began a thread detailing all of the similarities between Shulman and Shakespeare. And while there have been many conspiracies about celebrities, this one seems to have maintained traction, even years later.

Are actress Anne Hathaway and her husband Adam Shuman reincarnations of William Shakespeare and his wife Anne Hathaway?

Similarities between Shulman and Shakespeare have led some to believe that he and Hathaway are reincarnations of the famous literary couple. 

TikToker @themeddlingkidspod posted a video to discuss the theory. "The claim was that they look so similar, Anne Hathaway's husband has to be Shakespeare reincarnated," they noted. 



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But there are quite a few similarities between the couple, and Shakespeare and his wife.

The resemblance between Shulman and Shakespeare is uncanny.

The resemblance between Shulman and Shakespeare is frightening. The TikToker included a side-by-side photo of the two depicting their physical features, where they both have similar beards, eye structures, and even a very similar nose.

adam shulman william shakespearePhoto: TikTok / themeddlingkidspod


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Both Shulman and Shakespeare were born in April.

Though the exact date of Shakespeare's birth is unknown, often said to be April 23, 1564, he was born in April, just like Shulman, whose birthday is April 2, 1981. While some birth months are more popular than others, April isn't one of them, being one of the rarest in which babies are born.

Another strange "coincidence" is the fact that the actress was born 400 years after Shakespeare and his wife wed. The two wed in November 1582, when Shakespeare was 18 and Hathaway was 26. Actress Anne Hathaway was born 400 years later on November 12, 1982.

And while both of these instances are a bit of a stretch, people online seem to be convinced. One user commented, “Oddly enough William Shakespeare was born in April and so was Anne’s husband.”


Another wrote, “Billions of relationships across the planet and it’s weird that there are two couples that resemble each other several hundred years apart? Lol” Another joked, “Probably a Time Traveler, and in the future she is the Queen of Genovia,” which calls out the fact that the actress seems to have not aged in decades.

Shakespeare wrote about his eternal love for Anne Hathaway, and his belief in their future reincarnation.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this conspiracy theory relates back to a letter that Shakespeare once wrote to his wife, and what he believed would happen to them after their deaths.


“Along with the resemblances and the name coincidences, there’s also the fact that Shakespeare once wrote his life a love letter, and it said, and I quote, ‘Life is too short to love you only once. I promise to search for you in the next life,'” @meddlingkidspod said. 

Shakespeare also reportedly believed in reincarnation and told his wife that she would be the one to become “more famous” in the next life and very much a part of the public eye. 

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Because of this, people are convinced the two are reincarnated versions of Shakespeare and his wife. 


Actress Anne Hathaway addressed the conspiracy theory directly.

As this theory went viral, Hathway commented on it in a 2019 interview on "The View."

"I have no idea [if Shulman is Shakespeare], but it did kind of become a thing... one rumor was that we've been reincarnated together, which obviously is true, you guys," she joked. "We intended this, we planned this. In 1602, we were like 'let's do this again, but I want to wear pants this time.'"


While many believe the theory, there's no proof this claim of reincarnation is true.

One user went as far as stating that Shakespeare might not even be a real person, writing, “It’s not proven he was an actual person. There’s no historical proof showing he was real. It’s suggested that the name was an alias.”

Another commented that no one really knows what Shakespeare looked like as what we have now are just paintings. “If you study history, we actually have no idea what Shakespeare looked like. Look it up.”

Realistically speaking, the possibility of Anne Hathaway and her husband being time-travelers or reincarnated is lower than 0.000001%. However, it's always interesting to see various opinions and thoughts by people to back up conspiracy theories. 

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Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer, former Editorial Intern and contributor for YourTango. Her work covers trending entertainment and news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.