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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.

Creating Shakespeare's First Folio
First Folio
Shakespeare and Beyond

Creating Shakespeare's First Folio

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Author
Esther French

A First Folio at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Photo by Lloyd Wolf. Imagine a world without Macbeth, Twelfth Night, or Julius Caesar. We likely wouldn’t have half of Shakespeare’s plays without the First Folio. Who was responsible for making this book,…

The Wonder of Will Live: Hear from Kal Penn, Justice Stephen Breyer, and other presenters
The Wonder of Will Live
Shakespeare and Beyond

The Wonder of Will Live: Hear from Kal Penn, Justice Stephen Breyer, and other presenters

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Author
Esther French

What better way to pay tribute to the world’s greatest storyteller than with stories, Folger Director Michael Witmore said as he welcomed the audience to a special event commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death on April 23, The Wonder…

Shakespeare's birthday party
Shakespeare and Beyond

Shakespeare's birthday party

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Author
Esther French

William Shakespeare entered and exited the world on the same date: April 23. This past weekend, the Folger Shakespeare Library commemorated the 400th anniversary of his death (1616-2016), but we also threw him a big birthday party as we do every year.…

Shakespeare belongs to all of us
Shakespeare and Beyond

Shakespeare belongs to all of us

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Author
Michael Witmore

Shakespeare died 400 years ago this week. Who cares? Well, millions and millions of people. Shakespeare remains the most produced playwright in America. Over 90% of American high school students study his plays and poetry, not to mention half of…

Reduced Shakespeare Company and the golden age of Shakespeare parodies
Shakespeare and Beyond

Reduced Shakespeare Company and the golden age of Shakespeare parodies

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Author
Richard Schoch

Reduced Shakespeare Company. (l-r) Reed Martin, Teddy Spencer, Austin Tichenor. Photo by Jeff Thomas. A high point in the Folger Shakespeare Library’s 2016 celebration of Shakespeare, The Wonder of Will, is the return appearance of the Reduced Shakespeare Company—the other…

Celebrating Shakespeare at 400
Shakespeare and Beyond

Celebrating Shakespeare at 400

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Author
Esther French

The Wonder of Will Live Watch the live broadcast of The Wonder of Will Live on Saturday, April 23, at noon EDT, on C-SPAN2’s Book TV or streaming online. Hear Shakespeare stories from Kal Penn, Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen…

How 'The New York Times' commemorated the Shakespeare tercentenary in 1916
Shakespeare and Beyond

How 'The New York Times' commemorated the Shakespeare tercentenary in 1916

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Author
Esther French

2016 marks 400 years after William Shakespeare’s death, and the world is celebrating the quatercentenary with Shakespeare performances, festivals, and fireworks. One hundred years ago, what was said about the Shakespeare tercentenary in the United States? We see one of these windows…

'Worlds Elsewhere': Shakespeare's imagination roaming far and free
'Worlds Elsewhere' by Andrew Dickson
Shakespeare and Beyond

'Worlds Elsewhere': Shakespeare's imagination roaming far and free

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Author
Esther French

William Shakespeare is a global phenomenon. In the four centuries since his death, the British playwright’s works have appeared at times and places where we might least expect them. Why is this so? Shakespeare was no world traveler. So then why…

Portraits in Hamlet: ‘Look here upon this picture, and on this’
Folger Theatre's 2010 Hamlet
Shakespeare and Beyond

Portraits in Hamlet: ‘Look here upon this picture, and on this’

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Author
Richard Schoch

One of the oldest theatrical legends about Shakespeare is that he played the ghost in Hamlet. We know that Shakespeare was both an actor and a playwright, but we have no idea whether he acted this small, but memorable role.…

King and Country: Shakespeare treasures from the Folger
Charles Kean Promptbook
Shakespeare and Beyond

King and Country: Shakespeare treasures from the Folger

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Author
Esther French

A special exhibition of rare quartos, promptbooks, and other treasures from the Folger collection accompanies the Royal Shakespeare Company staging of King and Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York this month. Director Gregory…

Quiz: Shakespeare's Fools
Shakespeare and Beyond

Quiz: Shakespeare's Fools

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Author
Esther French

Shakespeare’s plays are filled with fools like the ones pictured above, from Touchstone in As You Like It, to Feste in Twelfth Night—as well as characters in strong comedic roles, such as the Gravedigger, in Hamlet, or Dogberry in Much Ado…

Quiz: Can you identify the Shakespeare play by only the first line?
Shakespeare and Beyond

Quiz: Can you identify the Shakespeare play by only the first line?

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Author
Esther French

Test your Shakespeare knowledge and take our quiz! Can you identify the Shakespeare quiz by the first line?See if you can identify the play with only the first line to go by. Be warned, it gets harder as you progress.…

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