Our top Shakespeare Unlimited podcast episodes from 2021 explore the British royal family, a Shakespeare-inspired novel, lost plays, and more.
How We Hear Shakespeare’s Plays, with Carla Della Gatta
In Shakespeare’s time, people talked about going to hear a play and going to see one in equal measure. So what exactly do we hear when we hear one of Shakespeare’s plays? What information do we gather from its words, music, or sound effects? What if it has been adapted, updated, or translated?
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Shakespeare, Science, and Art
Does Hamlet live in a Ptolemaic or Copernican solar system? Is Queen Mab a germ? Which falls faster: a feather or the Duke of Gloucester? Dr. Natalie Elliot discusses how Shakespeare interpreted the scientific innovations of the early modern period in his plays.
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Shakespeare and the British Royal Family, with Gordon McMullan
Shakespeare wrote a lot about English kings and queens. Over the last three hundred years, a lot of English kings and queens have gotten really into Shakespeare. Our guest Gordon McMullan is the Principal Investigator of Making History: Shakespeare and the Royal Family, a new online exhibition that examines the long relationship between Shakespeare and the British royal family.
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Mona Awad on All’s Well
In her new novel, All’s Well, author Mona Awad combines elements of All’s Well That Ends Well, Macbeth, and the 1999 movie Election to tell the story of Miranda Fitch, a theater professor with a mutinous cast and excruciating chronic pain. What do those plays have in common, and how did Awad weave them together to create her darkly funny new book?
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Shakespeare and Lost Plays
Today, the texts of roughly three thousand plays from the great age of Elizabethan theater are lost to us. The plays that remain constitute only a sixth of all of the drama produced during that period. The Lost Plays Database tries to fill in those holes. It’s an open-access forum for information about lost plays from England originally written and performed between 1570 and 1642. The database collects the little evidence that remains of the lost plays, like descriptions of performances, lists of titles, receipts, diaries, letters, or fragments of parts.
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