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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.

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…

Order It: Jaques's "All the world's a stage"
Shakespeare and Beyond

Order It: Jaques's "All the world's a stage"

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Shakespeare & Beyond

“All the world’s a stage,” says Jacques in a famous speech from As You Like It about life and the passage of time. Take this quiz to see if you can correctly order the lines that follow.

Shakespeare's roles in the Caribbean
Shakespeare and Beyond

Shakespeare's roles in the Caribbean

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Shakespeare & Beyond

Shakespeare is woven into the culture of the British Caribbean, with a special emphasis on Caliban and The Tempest–but does he reflect the colonial past, influence anti-colonial authors, or both? Scholars Giselle Rampaul and Barrymore A. Bogues traced his complex…

Quiz: Which characters use foreign words and phrases?
Shakespeare and Beyond

Quiz: Which characters use foreign words and phrases?

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Shakespeare & Beyond

Take this quiz to see if you can tell which characters in the plays used foreign words and phrases, including the famous three-word Latin question, “Et tu, Brutè?”

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