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The Folger Spotlight

ENCORES: ‘Shakespeare’s Virtues’ Lecture by Julia Reinhard Lupton (2018)

Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darkness
Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darkness

Folger Public Programs is pleased to present ENCORES, a weekly online series highlighting past performances and recalling the rich history of programming on the historic Folger stage. As many arts and cultural institutions remain closed during this time, these ENCORES provide a way to connect and revisit the breadth of Folger offerings with a wider audience.

ENCORES presents

The Shakespeare Birthday Lecture
‘Shakespeare’s Virtues’
Delivered by Julia Reinhard Lupton on April 23, 2018
Read about this event on Folgerpedia

Listen to the full lecture here (a full transcript is also available).

Lecturer: Julia Lupton is the author or co-author of five books on Shakespeare, including Citizen-Saints: Shakespeare and Political Theology, Thinking with Shakespeare: Essays on Politics and Life, and Shakespeare Dwelling: Designs for the Theater of Life. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and an ACLS Fellowship. At University of California, Irvine, she is a Lauds and Laurels honoree and the recipient of several teaching awards. She is a former Trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America. Her current book project, Shakespeare’s Virtues, explores the many capacities developed by Shakespeare’s plays, including hope, courage, trust, and respect. She has taught at UCI since 1989.

Read the introduction by the Associate Director for Scholarly Programs, Folger Institute, Owen Williams:

Hello and welcome to Folger ENCORES! I’m Owen Williams, Associate Director for Scholarly Programs at the Folger Institute. The Folger has been sharing selections from plays, music, and spoken word with you in this ENCORES series.

This week, we’re revisiting the Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture “Shakespeare’s Virtues,” delivered by Professor Julia Reinhard Lupton in 2018. Courage, trust, hope, and patience are some of the many virtues cultivated by the characters in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. In this talk, Professor Lupton uses this famed comedy as a blueprint to demonstrate the surprising potential for the creation of more virtuous humans—in his time, as well as our own. She is joined by actor Eric Hissom, whose Bernard Nightingale won the Helen Hayes Best Supporting Actor Award in the Folger production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia.

We were honored when Julia accepted our invitation to join the long line of renowned Shakespeareans in delivering this talk, an annual lecture that stretches back to the Folger’s founding in 1932. Her scholarship and public humanities work combines a vast knowledge of religious thought, Aristotelian philosophy, and Shakespeare’s plays (and their performance), all shot through with a profoundly playful sense of what resonates with the public that she sees as her core audience. She invariably strives to tie practical lessons from Shakespeare to the everyday challenges and situations we face, all with an eye on the original definition of virtue, that is, actualizing the qualities that have the potential to make us truly happy within all the overlapping communities we inhabit. There are few scholars active today who combine her professional accomplishments with her deep commitment to what the humanities offer that make us better … better readers, better thinkers, better citizens of a democracy, and better humans. Her work exemplifies what “thinking with Shakespeare” means.

We hope you will continue joining us for these weekly episodes of ENCORES, highlighting all that the Folger has to offer. If you would like to know more about the Folger and the Folger Institute, please visit Thank you.

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