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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.

Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet turns 25
Shakespeare and Beyond

Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet turns 25

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Author
Carla Della Gatta

Carla Della Gatta writes about Baz Luhrmann’s movie Romeo + Juliet, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, which became an indelible version for Gen X, Gen Y, and even Gen Z. In homage to West Side Story, it Latin-izes the…

Sweet are the comedies of adversity: Shakespeare and Ted Lasso
Shakespeare and Beyond

Sweet are the comedies of adversity: Shakespeare and Ted Lasso

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Author
Austin Tichenor

Austin Tichenor explores some surprising parallels between “Ted Lasso” and Shakespeare’s comedies, then tops off the post with paired quotes from both.

Digital humanities and Macbeth's "creepiest" word
Shakespeare and Beyond

Digital humanities and Macbeth's "creepiest" word

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Shakespeare & Beyond

Celebrate Halloween and Shakespeare with the remarkable story of Macbeth’s “creepiest” word — a common, simple term whose unusual use in the play was identified by data analysis in 2014 and highlighted in a recent online column.

Circe: A transformative enchantress
Shakespeare and Beyond

Circe: A transformative enchantress

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Author
emma poltrack

The enchantress Circe, best known for turning men into pigs, is mentioned several times in Shakespeare’s plays and has been a literary inspiration for more authors up to the present day. Explore her story in the latest installment of our…

West Side Story: 60 years as a cultural barometer
Shakespeare and Beyond

West Side Story: 60 years as a cultural barometer

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Author
Carla Della Gatta

Sixty years old this week, the 1961 movie West Side Story, based on the acclaimed Broadway musical inspired by Romeo and Juliet, also became a de facto representation of US Latinx in musicals for many years.

Helena Modjeska, a shining Polish-American star
Shakespeare and Beyond

Helena Modjeska, a shining Polish-American star

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Author
Esther Ferington

Born on October 12, 1840, the Shakespearean star Helena Modjeska shone bright in two very different theatrical worlds, first becoming a leading lady in Warsaw and then, after moving to Anaheim, California, launching a second career as a leading actress…

Quiz: The animals in Shakespeare's plays
Shakespeare and Beyond

Quiz: The animals in Shakespeare's plays

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Shakespeare & Beyond

Take our quiz on the amazing variety of animals in Shakespeare’s plays, from a mix of dogs and horses to song birds, ferocious wild animals, and much more.

What's onstage at Shakespeare theaters in October
Shakespeare and Beyond

What's onstage at Shakespeare theaters in October

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Author
Ben Lauer

October brings a bumper crop of productions from the Folger’s theater partners, including a ‘King Lear’ performed in Original Pronunciation, ‘Romeos and Juliets’ galore, and a new adaptation of ‘As You Like It’ featuring the music of the Beatles.

Some spellbinding October reads
Shakespeare and Beyond

Some spellbinding October reads

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Author
emma poltrack

As we enter the year’s spookiest month, explore a trio of contemporary novels that involve early modern witchcraft. Much has changed since the deadly witch hunts of Shakespeare’s era, and the contrasting approaches of these books are a good way…

The origins of the English history play - Excerpt: The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and War
Shakespeare and Beyond

The origins of the English history play - Excerpt: The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and War

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Shakespeare & Beyond

What is the English history play? “A dramatic study of civil conflict in England,” writes David Bevington in this excerpt from the newly published Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and War. “Above all, its purpose is to explore the causes, the…

"Woeful tragedy," indeed
Shakespeare and Beyond

"Woeful tragedy," indeed

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Author
Austin Tichenor

“We’re told from a young age that tragedy teaches us important things about what it means to be human. But does it actually teach us anything, or simply reveal what we already know?” writes Austin Tichenor, who looks at Shakespeare’s…

Introducing Shakespeare and Greek Myths: Theseus and Hippolyta
Shakespeare and Beyond

Introducing Shakespeare and Greek Myths: Theseus and Hippolyta

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Author
emma poltrack

Welcome to our new Shakespeare and Greek Myths series. We’re starting off with Theseus and Hippolyta–figures who are not only referred to in the plays, but are also fully formed characters in two of them: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and…

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