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Shakespeare & Beyond

Frederick Douglass, A Shakespearean in Washington

Frederick Douglass portrait
Frederick Douglass portrait

Frederick Douglass portraitIn his life and times Frederick Douglass was known around the world as an orator, abolitionist, suffragist, and reformist. While living in Washington, DC, where he spent the last quarter-century of his life, he was also known to many as an admirer of William Shakespeare.

Today, tens of thousands of people visit the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site each year at Cedar Hill, Douglass’s home in Anacostia, where the library shelves hold volumes of Shakespeare’s complete works and a framed print of Othello and Desdemona hangs above the mantle in the west parlor.

Douglass frequently alluded to Shakespeare in his oratory and was known to attend performances of Shakespeare at local Washington theatres. On at least two occasions Douglass served as a thespian for the Uniontown Shakespeare Club, a community theater company.


[…] — READ ARTICLE HERE —  […]

Folger Shakespeare Library Blog: “Frederick Douglass, A Shakespearean in Washington” (John Muller, July 19, 2019) | Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia — July 21, 2019

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[…] Learn about Frederick Douglass as a Washington City editor and correspondent of the New National Era, his relationships with Senators, Congressmen, Supreme Court Justices, diplomats, generals and suffragists and his admiration of William Shakespeare. […]

Frederick Douglass in Capitol Hill Walking Tour (October 2, 2021 @ 9:00 AM) | Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia — September 26, 2021