Some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays are medieval because he understood how the past shapes the present. He made history matter to his audience, as he made it matter to me four hundred years later.
How do we know Shakespeare's plays? For many of them, the answer is one book: the 1623 First Folio. Without it, 18 plays, including Macbeth and The Tempest, could have been lost. In 2016, First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare brought the First Folio to 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.
What Scholars Are Saying
Insights from the national scholarly community exploring Shakespeare
When I read and teach Macbeth the language transforms into a glorious machine—gears turning, maneuvering the audience to discoveries and understanding at precisely the right moments.
For all the claims over four centuries that his influence would soon wane because his language is too challenging, Shakespeare may always be understood so long as people have the capacity, or desire, to feel, to lose themselves, to understand, and to be understood.
Folger Education and the First Folio
At the Folger Shakespeare Library, we create experiences, transform education, and drive discovery. Join us on an exploration through Shakespeare’s most famous book, the First Folio.
The Folger is revolutionizing the way Shakespeare is taught in classrooms. Discover the extra dimensions that the First Folio can bring to Shakespeare – for you and your students.
Are you a Family – Parents and Kids Together?
The First Folio starts you on an exciting exploration—families can move, play, speak, engage, and above all, have fun with Shakespeare.
Travelling in conjunction with the First Folio Tour, the story of Hamlet is told by the Gravedigger using Shakespeare's moving words and with help from the audience in Gravedigger's Tale.
Conceived and directed by Robert Richmond.