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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.

Jane Austen's Shakespeare
Shakespeare and Beyond

Jane Austen's Shakespeare

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Janine Barchas Kristina Straub

Jane Austen, who was born in 1775, came of age in the 1790s and started publishing in the 1810s; her first novel, Sense and Sensibility, came out in 1811. She died in 1817, which makes 2017 the 200th anniversary of…

The Cotswold Olympicks
Photo illustration by David Dilworth
Shakespeare and Beyond

The Cotswold Olympicks

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Karen Lyon

  The Ancient Greeks may hold the franchise on Olympic wrestling—but how would they have fared against a 17th-century British shin-kicker? In 1612 in the tiny village of Chipping Campden, Robert Dover opened the first Cotswold Olympicks, ushering in a…

Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice': Perpetuating stereotypes or sparking much-needed conversations?
Shylock in District Merchants
Shakespeare and Beyond

Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice': Perpetuating stereotypes or sparking much-needed conversations?

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Esther French

Matthew Boston (Shylock) in District Merchants, a variation on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Folger Theatre, 2016. Photo by Teresa Wood. Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice ends badly for Shylock, with the court ruling against him and his claim on Antonio’s…

Shakespeare Live: Staging the plays outdoors
Bree Murphy (left) as Mistress Quickly and Marco Antonio Vega as Bardolph in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2016 production of Henry V. (Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2016.)
Shakespeare and Beyond

Shakespeare Live: Staging the plays outdoors

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Shakespeare & Beyond

Bree Murphy (left) as Mistress Quickly and Marco Antonio Vega as Bardolph in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2016 production of Henry V. Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2016. Whether they are produced under the stars, in the moonlight, by…

Reading ahead for "Will & Jane"
Shakespeare and Beyond

Reading ahead for "Will & Jane"

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Shakespeare & Beyond

As you’ve seen on this blog already, the next Folger exhibition, Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity (August 6 to November 6), will be a fascinating look at the posthumous celebrities of William Shakespeare and Jane…

A perfect pairing: A recipe for almond jumballs and a podcast episode on "Recipes for Thought"
Wendy Wall, Recipes for Thought: Knowledge and Taste in the Early Modern Kitchen
Shakespeare and Beyond

A perfect pairing: A recipe for almond jumballs and a podcast episode on "Recipes for Thought"

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Shakespeare & Beyond

Early modern kitchens, food, and recipes offer an intriguing window on the world in which Shakespeare lived. Our new Shakespeare Unlimited podcast episode is a fascinating interview with Wendy Wall, who explores the role of food, kitchens, and other related subjects in…

Charlotte Cushman, an American star
Thomas Sully. Charlotte Cushman. Oil on canvas, 1843. Folger Shakespeare Library.
Shakespeare and Beyond

Charlotte Cushman, an American star

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Shakespeare & Beyond

Thomas Sully. Charlotte Cushman. Oil on canvas, 1843. As we celebrate Shakespeare in 2016, it’s also time to mark some other dates on the calendar. This Saturday, July 23, 2016, is the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Cushman’s birth. Cushman was among the…

Watch videos of "my Shakespeare story" and tell us yours
Joss Whedon tells Shakespeare stories for Folger #MySHX400
Shakespeare and Beyond

Watch videos of "my Shakespeare story" and tell us yours

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Shakespeare & Beyond

For our yearlong celebration of Shakespeare in 2016, we’ve been inviting the world to share videos about personal connections and experiences with Shakespeare, with the hashtag #MySHX400. The results are varied, unexpected, and interesting. Enjoy some of those Shakespeare stories here and tell us…

Staging Shakespeare in a day
Kimberly Gilbert will play Joan la Pucelle in this year's Bootleg Shakespeare: Henry VI, part 1. Photo by Marcus Kyd.
Shakespeare and Beyond

Staging Shakespeare in a day

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Shakespeare & Beyond

Kimberly Gilbert will play Joan la Pucelle in 2016 in Bootleg Shakespeare: Henry VI, Part 1. Photo by Marcus Kyd. On Monday, July 18, the Taffety Punk Theatre Company will take over Folger Theatre to plan and perform a “bootleg” version…

How is Shakespeare relevant? Share why he matters to you
Shakespeare and Beyond

How is Shakespeare relevant? Share why he matters to you

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Shakespeare & Beyond

We were inspired by the “wall of cards” about Shakespeare created by San Diego visitors to the First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare tour, and we’d like to know why Shakespeare matters to you, too. Try our new Shakespeare Matters card to join the conversation,…

Illustrating Shakespeare: Three witches on the heath
Shakespeare and Beyond

Illustrating Shakespeare: Three witches on the heath

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Sarah Hovde

Folger Finds delivers delightful and insightful moments with the Folger collection. Sarah Hovde, a cataloger at the Folger Shakespeare Library, shows us some surprise artwork in a 1910 edition of Macbeth. When cataloging a rare book, librarians try to balance describing the things…

Folger curator shares new Shakespeare discoveries
Shakespeare coat of arms
Shakespeare and Beyond

Folger curator shares new Shakespeare discoveries

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Esther French

Folger Curator of Manuscripts Heather Wolfe dropped a bombshell in The New York Times this past week: Newly discovered depictions of Shakespeare’s coat of arms from the seventeenth century provide documentary evidence that while the heralds made the grant of arms to his…

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