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Shakespeare & Beyond

Shakespeare & Beyond

The Shakespeare & Beyond blog features a wide range of Shakespeare-related topics: the early modern period in which he lived, the ways his plays have been interpreted and staged over the past four centuries, the enduring power of his characters and language, and more.

Sometimes the old tropes are the best tropes: Shakespeare and Our Flag Means Death
Two pirates on board a ship in Our Flag Means Death
Shakespeare and Beyond

Sometimes the old tropes are the best tropes: Shakespeare and Our Flag Means Death

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Author
Melissa Rohrer

Melissa Rohrer explores how “Our Flag Means Death,” a show inspired by the true story of the early 18th-century “Gentleman Pirate” Stede Bonnet, draws on character types and narratives that Shakespeare used frequently across many of his plays, while breathing…

Birds of Shakespeare: The kingfisher
kingfisher painting
Shakespeare and Beyond

Birds of Shakespeare: The kingfisher

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Author
Missy Dunaway

Artist Missy Dunaway explores references to the kingfisher in two Shakespeare plays, King Lear and 1 Henry VI.

Tips for taking your kids to their first Shakespeare play
A woman with her young daughter in the Folger theater
Shakespeare and Beyond

Tips for taking your kids to their first Shakespeare play

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Author
Ben Lauer

Read great tips for helping your kids have a blast watching their very first Shakespeare play.

The soliloquy and Hamlet - Excerpt: 'The Elizabethan Mind' by Helen Hackett
The Elizabethan Mind
Shakespeare and Beyond

The soliloquy and Hamlet - Excerpt: 'The Elizabethan Mind' by Helen Hackett

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Shakespeare & Beyond

Helen Hackett explores Shakespeare’s use of the soliloquy in “Hamlet,” including the famous “To be or not to be” speech, in this excerpt from her new book, “The Elizabethan Mind: Searching for the Self in an Age of Uncertainty,” published…

Quiz: Plan the perfect summer and reveal who you are in A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare and Beyond

Quiz: Plan the perfect summer and reveal who you are in A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Author
Ben Lauer

Plan your perfect summer and we’ll tell you which character you are in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Active reading in the 16th century: Commonplace books and sammelbands
Sammelband
Shakespeare and Beyond

Active reading in the 16th century: Commonplace books and sammelbands

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Shakespeare & Beyond

Collecting extracts of text in commonplace books and binding multiple books together to create a sammelband were two notable practices of readers in the 16th and 17th centuries, as Jason Scott-Warren (University of Cambridge) explains in this excerpt from a…

Shakespeare quotes about friendship
friendship of Celia and Rosalind
Shakespeare and Beyond

Shakespeare quotes about friendship

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Author
Esther French

These Shakespeare quotes about friendship point to the complexities of relationships between characters in the plays.

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Insights from Folger Theatre dramaturg Michele Osherow
actors performing a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare and Beyond

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Insights from Folger Theatre dramaturg Michele Osherow

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Shakespeare & Beyond

“Nowhere does Shakespeare attend more to theatrical enterprise and potential than in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” writes Michele Osherow, Folger Theatre’s resident dramaturg. “It makes the play irresistible to those who practice theatre and to those who crave its incomparable…

'We few, we happy few': Small-cast Shakespeare
A small-cast Shakespeare performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare and Beyond

'We few, we happy few': Small-cast Shakespeare

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Author
Austin Tichenor

Austin Tichenor explores small-cast Shakespeare and the artistic possibilities of a few performers playing multiple roles.

A game of chess
chess board with pieces
Shakespeare and Beyond

A game of chess

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Shakespeare & Beyond

Take a closer look at some unusual chess sets in the Folger collection, spanning continents and centuries.

Birds of Shakespeare: The golden eagle
eagle objects
Shakespeare and Beyond

Birds of Shakespeare: The golden eagle

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Author
Missy Dunaway

With the golden eagle, we continue following artist Missy Dunaway on a bird-watching expedition through Shakespeare’s works. The eagle soars throughout Shakespeare’s world, Renaissance literature, and beyond – symbolizing strength, power, and the divine.

Stepping into the forest of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream': An immersive installation based on 'A Knavish Lad'
people exploring the immersive installation based on A Knavish Lad
Shakespeare and Beyond

Stepping into the forest of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream': An immersive installation based on 'A Knavish Lad'

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Author
Esther French

This summer, visitors to The Playhouse at the National Building Museum can enjoy an immersive installation based on a beautiful book in the Folger collection, Joanna Robson’s “A Knavish Lad.” The book visually (and wordlessly) narrates “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”…

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