The History of Shakespeare in American Schools

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 135

We’re willing to bet that at some point in school, you read at least of one Shakespeare’s plays. Did you ever wonder why that is? How did Shakespeare go from popular entertainment to classroom staple?

Professor Joseph Haughey of Northwest Missouri State University takes us back to a time when educators didn’t take Shakespeare seriously and English wasn’t even a subject in school. Haughey’s research focuses on the evolution of the English curriculum in American schools, and, in particular, the role of Shakespeare in that evolution. He is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

Listen to Shakespeare Unlimited on iTunes, Google Play Music, Soundcloud, Spotify, NPR One, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Joseph Haughey is a professor in the Department of Language, Literature, and Writing at Northwest Missouri State University.

From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published January 7, 2020. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “O This Learning, What A Thing It Is!,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. We had technical help from Paul Luke at VoiceTrax West in Studio City, California, and Patty Holley at public radio station KXCV/KRNW in Maryville, Missouri. Photo (above) by Lloyd Wolf.

Previous: Peter Brook | Next: Shakespeare's Sonnets


MICHAEL WITMORE: It’s hard to say something with complete confidence these days, but I’m going to give it a shot, because I’m pretty sure I’m on safe ground. Here goes: When you were in high school English, you read a Shakespeare play. I’m right, right? And if you’ve ever wondered why you did that … We’re about to tell you.

From the Folger Shakespeare Library, this is Shakespeare Unlimited. I’m Michael Witmore, the Folger’s director. We take it for granted in the 21st century that American students will study Shakespeare. But that wasn’t always the case. Not only was there a time when Shakespeare wasn’t a part of English in America, there was a time when schools didn’t even teach English in America.

Joseph Haughey is a professor in the Department of Language, Literature, and Writing at Northwest Missouri State University. His area of research specialization is the evolution of the English curriculum in American schools, andin particularthe role of Shakespeare in that evolution. It’s an enlightening and surprising story and Dr. Haughey came in recently to talk with us about it.

We call this podcast episode, “O This Learning, What A Thing It Is!” Joseph Haughey is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.


BARBARA BOGEAV: Why don’t we start by getting a sense in general of what considered a typical American college curriculum in the early 1700s? And by that, I mean what would a colonial young manand I say man, of course, because women were not going to college thenwhat would that man be trained in, and more importantly why? What courses would he have to take, and what were they seen as preparing him to do?

JOSEPH HAUGHEY: Well—and I think it’s important too that you point out that it’s white men, and it's white men from a privileged background attending colonial colleges. So, the aim was to produce the future leaders of the young colonies. This was a time… certainly Shakespeare was not part of the curriculum. In fact, English, a modern language, was not part of the curriculum. Young men studied Greek, Latin, maybe a little bit of Hebrew. And they were expected to be able to work through, translate these languages.

BOGEAV: Right. And some of these men, they’re training for professions like to become lawyers and preachers. But mostly they were just training to become, as you say, leaders or gentlemen of society.

HAUGHEY: Or gentlemen, yes. Yeah, the ideal was that this was a place where wealthy families could send their young men to be trained to grow up to be gentlemen. The goal of a curriculum in Greek and Latin, a classical curriculum, was really about the idea of working through a dead language. That process was believed to allow students to exercise their brain in a way that made them fit for public service. That’s what it meant to be educated.

BOGEAV: Yeah, and the way you describe is that the goal was the idea of a disciplined mind. It made me wonder if that’s why rote memorization was the main method of education. Was that considered the best way to master knowledge and also discipline your mind? To be able to memorize everything?

HAUGHEY: Yes, and it’s also quite practical. This was a time when paper is expensive, so the idea of having students write out an answer is not really very practical. Same with books. There’s very few books used in the Colonial colleges in this time as well.

BOGEAV: Well, that’s interesting. So when you say very few books, does that mean you just have maybe one text and you’re not really arguing multiple perspectives on any issue or drawing from different sources?

HAUGHEY: In the Colonial colleges, there was definitely a belief that one text was sufficient and more than that could be confusing. And even books… extra reading, Shakespeare for example. There were no copies of Shakespeare until 1720 at Harvard. So, Harvard University, which had been around almost one hundred years by that point, didn’t get its first copy of Shakespeare for decades. Books, just generally speaking, and especially books in English, were very, very rare even at universities. Very limited access.

BOGEAV: That’s really wild to think about, and also, I mean we know this in general, but the specifics of it is so interesting. The American Colonial education system was directly molded on the English system of Oxford and the Cambridge Universities, and that system just got imported to the colonies. This early on, in the early 1700s, Shakespeare wasn’t featured as a subject for study yet in England either. In fact, drama and literature weren’t studied, as you said. But why not? Why weren’t they studying about this?

HAUGHEY: Well, you know, I think the parallel for us might be film studies in 20th century. There was a notion in the Colonial and Antebellum periods that Shakespeare was just fine for reading as recreation, but it wasn’t something worthy of study at a university. And I think, sort of, this notion in the 20th century came to appreciate film studies. That’s why maybe a 21st-century parallel might be those who are studying video games. Shakespeare and theater are a popular culture, and they don’t really have a place in the high-brow elite educational institutions of the time.

BOGEAV: But you found that even though these students weren’t reading Shakespeare in class, a lot of them were reading Shakespeare outside of class, the way we go to movies and play video games outside of class. But that the fact that they were reading it outside of class came to influence the curriculum. So how did that happen?

HAUGHEY: So, it’s fascinating because we have university literary societies that start to pop up. The first of these start in 1750 and by the middle of the 19th century every college has a competing pair of literary societies.

These usually met Friday nights. Students would gather together, they would read books together, talk about books together and also talk about current events. And this is the stuff that really started to make up and become, later in the 19th century, what we would think of as the curriculum, the formal curriculum, as we see English develop as a school subject.

BOGEAV: Wow, so they’d get together in someone’s room and they’d read plays, and they’d argue and debate?

HAUGHEY: At first, yeah. At first, it would be relatively… of the early ones they started in somebody’s room. So, it would just be a group of students getting together. Then gradually as they started to be sanctioned by the university, they got bigger. And this was a time before… the literary societies pre-date fraternities, athletics. This was the only sanctioned mode for students to get together in an extracurricular way for a very long time in the 19th century.

BOGEAV: So, we’re talking about clubs, like the Hasty Pudding Club?

HAUGHEY: Yeah, at Harvard, you’ve got the Hasty Pudding Club. Now, Harvard’s a little bit different because they had several societies. Most almost everywhere else there were always exactly two societies.

BOGEAV: And so, they were reading these popular culture books, their non-sanctioned books, novels and stuff. It’s fascinating that you say that the fraternities would often compile their own libraries of this literature, and these libraries would have a wider variety of books than the university’s actual library would.

HAUGHEY: Oftentimes yes. Oftentimes the libraries at the literary societies, their collections were larger than the official university library. So, Middlebury College, for example, has 2,300 or so books in 1839. We find when we count up the literary society books, they have over 3,000. We’re regularly seeing where those—and not only were they bigger, but they were more representative of what we’ll see later in the 19th century of what would become the curriculum, such as Shakespeare. This is where we start to see not just books about theology, not just Greek and Latin readers that would be in the official university library, but we’re starting to see periodicals, novels, drama, a much, much wider variety of texts. So in terms of quantity and also the quality, was quite different as well.

BOGEAV: It’s kind of funny to think of the university libraries as being so deficient.

HAUGHEY: They really were. There’s a great quotation of Columbia library. This is a 19th-century professor remembering when he was a student at Columbia. He said this of the library, he said, “It was housed in an old tinderbox building with no conveniences for studying or reading. Administered by a single person as a librarian, who crept up the building about 11:00 in the morning, kept the library open for the drawing of books about one hour and a half daily. And he generally seemed displeased when anyone asked for a book, and positively forbidding when asked to buy one.” And you’ll find quotations like that frequently about the university libraries, in the Antebellum and through much of the 19th century. They were not useful to students. Students had to, through the literary societies, make their own.

BOGEAV: Just what you want in an institution of higher learning: someone who doesn’t want you to search out books. So, as you say, a lot of these literary societies were also debate societies, and it sounds like one of the things they often debated was curriculum. The question of whether the university is teaching us the right things.

HAUGHEY: Definitely. So they were very interested, in terms of whether or not, novels belonged in the formal curriculum. Whether or not drama, Shakespeare, belonged in the formal curriculum. Whether or not something in a modern language generally belonged.

BOGEAV: And they wanted to study Shakespeare? The students wanted to study Shakespeare?

HAUGHEY: Right, and they made that apparent too. Not only through the debates where they said that they wanted to study modern languages, to study Shakespeare, but also through their library purchases. So, we see in records of books, Shakespeare almost always appearing in the list of the literary society libraries.

BOGEAV: Well, it looks like that some of these debating society members went on to eventually teach Shakespeare. One of them, you write about in your research, is William McGuffey. McGuffey Readers is just one of those icons of the early days of American education. Who was McGuffey? The picture in your research, a portrait of him, which is kind of terrifying actually…

HAUGHEY: Yeah, that picture comes from a little later in life and I don’t know if it really does him justice. 19th-century photography might not have been very fair to McGuffey. But he starts off as a student at Washington College, now Washington and Jefferson, and he is in his literary society. Actually, if you go back to those minutes, he was responsible for buying the first copies of Shakespeare in the 1820s for his literary society at Washington. So, he was interested in Shakespeare from the beginning. And he leads a fascinating life. The McGuffey’s are named for him. He wrote the first four volumes, his younger brother wrote the second two, which included Shakespeare.

BOGEAV: And who were these readers? What were they… describe them for us, because you know, we’re not familiar with them anymore.

HAUGHEY: Yeah, I mean, they’re similar, in some ways, to anthologies of text. But the difference is that you don’t see whole works in them, you’re not going to see a short story. You’re not going to see a piece from the Odyssey, you’re not going to see a Shakespeare play included in the sense that you would today. Instead, they were short reading passages meant to be read aloud.

I mentioned earlier, books are expensive still in the 19th century. So a class would have these readers and they would do a lot of their work from them. They would practice reading aloud. In the 19th century, if you could read well, if you could speak well, elocution, if you were good at that, that could take you places in the 19th century. Imagine Abraham Lincoln, where he was able to go because he could speak really well. That was the point of the readers earlier on. Was these short little—and they included oftentimes, pieces from Shakespeare. Not to study as literature, but to read aloud because they were exemplars of good elocution, of good public speaking.

BOGEAV: Wow, so, no analysis, just snippet. Were they attributed to Shakespeare, these snippets?

HAUGHEY: As the 19th century progressed, yes. Early on though, no. Shakespeare’s reputation was that of popular culture, not appropriate for to be read in school. So a lot of the readers, the editors like McGuffey, would not mention it in the earlier versions in the early 19th century. They wouldn’t include Shakespeare’s name. So, as a student, you might be reading Shakespeare, but not know it was Shakespeare. Not know what play it was from, not know any context whatsoever, other than it’s a speech dedicated to, “Friends, Romans, countrymen.” You didn’t really know that context or where it came from.

BOGEAV: So, as a kid, this is how Shakespeare became—or started to become—ingrained in the American consciousness? Not through plays but through these school readers.

HAUGHEY: Well, from an academic prospective, yes. Certainly, Shakespeare has a pop culture following in 19th-century theater, but that’s really a distant relation to what he’s doing in schools. And, in fact, it was because he was so popular on stage, at a time when theater was low-brow, that it’s not appropriate to include him in schools.

If you go to a theater in the 19th-century United States, you would… it would not be uncommon to find prostitutes there. It would not be uncommon to find traveling actors, like Edmund Kean, Junius Booth, who did not have—they were great actors, but their reputations were not appropriate for something you would want to talk about with your children. So, American theater kept Shakespeare really out of the position: a high position in terms of schools and in terms of studying Shakespeare. That’d be like me saying, “Let’s go and study a sitcom on television.” No, no, no, that’s low brow, that’s very coarse. That… Shakespeare’s name was not included.

BOGEAV: Right, it was kind of forbidden. When they would read, say a snippet from Julius Caesar or Antony presenting, orating to the Roman mob, would they just memorize it and present it? Or would they study it in terms of it being a good example of rhetoric?

HAUGHEY: Rhetoric really. I think a lot of students ended up committing Shakespeare to memory through the process, but really it was about how well you could speak. Did you know to speak with volume? Did you know to speed up when you needed to? Change your tone? And really, that’s the study of elocution: speaking in a way that gets your audience’s attention and holds it. Rhetoric is secondary to that too. Speaking about something that matters.

So in that sense, Shakespeare proves a good exemplar both for the language, but also because this was a time when people loved Julius Caesar. If we can hear a speech that bridges, sort of, the study of Latin to the study of English—that's what we started to see at the end of the century. As we start to see that transition away from studying the classics toward studying Shakespeare in modern language.

BOGEAV: It’s funny though, you had these two things kind of on a parallel track for a while in America. That Shakespeare was a good way to inculcate rhetoric into young minds, but also it might possibly corrupt young minds. You have this great quote in your research from the president from Amherst College, which coincidentally and ironically, it administers the Folger. It’s the college that Henry Folger went to, and he wrote—the president, that is, of Amherst, “I’m sorry that most of Shakespeare’s plays were ever written. It’s scarcely possible they should pass through the youthful mind and imagination without leaving a stain behind. If they must be read by our sons and daughters, let us have a carefully expurgated edition.” So what? Did he just not like Shakespeare? Or was he writing really about theater at large and just picked Shakespeare as an example?

HAUGHEY: I think he’s really writing about theater at large here. You know, he was president of Amherst until 1845, and in that part in the first half of the 19th century, Shakespeare and theater are synonymous. From his point of view, the idea of theatrical Shakespeare, it had no place. It didn’t belong.

It’s fascinating to think how much could change at Amherst because we’ve got Folger, Henry Clay Folger, as a student there in the 1870s. That’s just some 20, 30 years later. And we see him going on to do great things for Shakespeare in the United States. How much shift we can have at one institution is fascinating to me.

BOGEAV: Yeah, it’s wild. And when did this shift in attitude towards Shakespeare’s just worthiness in the standard curriculum start to change?

HAUGHEY: I think it changes when theater changes. So, if we point to the Astor Place riots in New York in 1850, we’re starting to see theaters change a little bit. If I go to the theater in 21st century, there’s a certain decorum that’s expected of me, there’s a certain expectation; we turn the lights down, we pay attention, we’re quiet, we enjoy and respect what’s happening on stage, the actors are expected to behave themselves off stage as well. As theaters reputation changes in America—and that Astor Place Riot is really a clash between two different notions of theater: this low brow notion of theater versus a highbrow notion of theater. And as theaters reputation changes, Shakespeare’s reputation changes with it. I think that’s really a key point that then allows him, allows Shakespeare, to enter into schools in a different way. Not just as passages to be read aloud, but actually as theatrical, literary works worthy of study.

BOGEAV: So, after the 1850s you start seeing the passages in the readers being attributed to Shakespeare and then it grows from there?

HAUGHEY: That’s right. So, you start to see… there’s a couple of examples earlier in the 19th century, but very few. But by the time we get to the 1860s, the Civil War, and especially after we’re in the 1870s, we see a shift in the readers. The readers will endure through to the end of the 20th century before they really give way to really the anthology genre. But at the end, they have whole scenes, sometimes multiple scenes from the same play, sometimes context, so they tell you what happened before and after in the story. You’re starting to see something, not quite what I think of as the study of Shakespeare today, but something that’s bridging that gap.

BOGEAV: Well, yeah, because early on it comes up over and over again: these excerpts from Julius Caesar. You mentioned earlier that Julius Caesar a good play because it’s this transition period away from a classical curriculum and people and learning Latin and, you know, it’s a really nice bridge. And then you have the rhetoric issue. They want kids to learn rhetoric, but why Julius Caesar? Why was that considered okay?That’s our hallowed text, that’s okay for kids to learn.”

HAUGHEY: Well, Julius Caesar was really popular. I mean it still is really popular, but it was very popular in the 19th century. I think because students are used to reading Caesar in Latin, the orations. But I also think it has to do with… Julius Caesar is a play about… that challenges us to think about the very notion of a republic of democracy, of dictatorship. I think it’s a play that’s incredibly relevant, in many ways, to the 19th century as well.

If we are going to find a play that sort of helps us think about Shakespeare as literature, as something that speaks to the current situation, it’s a wonderful choice for that as well. If we want something—it’s great because it’s got “Friends, Romans countrymen.” It’s got some great orations that we can use to practice speaking allowed, and we’re used to reading those in the 19th century. We read those as, you know, the… in the later 19th century, those teachers were used to having read those as students themselves. But also now, as we dig deeper into the play, we find that it speaks in many ways, to a young nation.

BOGEAV: So, analysis of literary text is happening in education, but it must’ve been kind of piecemeal, right? America is just this large and spread out place, even back then in the 1850s. So, how did these ideas about Shakespeare and his place in the America curriculum spread?

HAUGHEY: That’s a tough question. I’m not sure I have a great answer to that question.

BOGEAV: I wonder if it comes from, you know, you go to college to learn to be a teacher and you’re already analyzing literature. And you go back and that’s what you continue to do with your students. I mean, does it spread organically that way?

HAUGHEY: Well, certainly I think so. We can see where… I haven’t mentioned William James Rolfe yet. He was one of the first, in the 1870s, to teach English in high school. We can trace some of his students who went on to Harvard and became teachers themselves. And we can see through that that some of these ideas about literature becoming more mainstream through these individuals.

Another good example, Francis James Child. He was the first Shakespeare professor at Harvard. We’ve got a record of the books he read as an undergraduate. Those later became the books that would make up the curriculum of those first Harvard classes in the Harvard English department in the 1870s.

So, the readings that these students did, they became teachers and then they pass it on to their students. We really see a foundation being built that then spreads from institution to institution, both at the secondary and at the university level. A Canon development. We see the Canon being developed but also methods, philology in the late 19th century is very important. Understanding text and understanding the history of words, how they come to us—extremely important in the 19th century in a way that I don’t think is as important as we move into the 20th century. There’s a shift in how we think about text, and its history, and the nuances of text, historical text.

BOGEAV: So, by the end of the 19th century, students are studying Shakespeare as text, no longer as elocution. But are they also studying it as drama? Is there a concept of literature or drama as a course of study already?

HAUGHEY: There’s a Shakespeare teacher and book editor, Henry Norman Hudson. He wrote in 1870. He was whole heartedly against any sort of performance-based approach to teaching Shakespeare. He said he wanted nothing to do with turning his classroom into a theater. So that tells me that in the 1870s, there must’ve been teachers trying it. There must’ve been teachers thinking, “Let’s think about these plays as actors do.”

Now, we don’t have… I have yet to come across any teacher from the 1870s who was a proponent of it. But beginning in the 19-teens and ‘20s, we do start to see… We see NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English, forms. Their flagship journal, English Journal, comes along and we start to really see teachers talking about how they teach Shakespeare. Many of them, even in the early 19-teens, 1920s, are talking about performance-based ideas. They’re talking about a different way of thinking about theater than they knew as kids. That theater is okay. And by the time we get to the 1920s, at Columbia University, their teacher education program, Franklin T. Baker, was teaching English education. He writes an English journal. He was a big advocate for this idea that we teach Shakespeare in a way that… we think about Shakespeare in a way that actors might, and the benefits of that in a classroom. And that’s really exciting to me to see that there.

Now, I don’t think that—even though he was at Columbia University, even though he’s a really important figure in English education in the early 20th century—I’m convinced that it wasn’t necessarily in every classroom. There weren’t the standardized requirements that we have today. A lot of times, you had some very young person, maybe just 18 or 19, teaching English. So, I don’t think that those ideas, in terms of student experience, were quite as widespread as I’d like to imagine. That happens later in the 20th century, but there were certainly some teachers doing it and certainly some teachers writing about it and trying to get that spark started very early in the 20th century.

BOGEAV: And, at the same time, there must’ve been some teachers who were like, “No, theater. Ah! Awful!”

HAUGHEY: I think so. I think the notion of teaching… early in the ‘20s, and we even see this later into the 20th century too. You know, the Folger’s Education Program has made great strides from the 1970s and ‘80s, on to today, about working with teachers and making us better English teachers. Making us better Shakespeare teachers. But even in those periods we see pushback. There are certainly—throughout the 20th century—there were those who were saying, “No, no, no, this isn’t rigorous enough.” But, more and more, as the 20th century progresses, especially as we get to the end of it as we move to the 21st century, we see teachers looking for fun ways to make Shakespeare come to life in the classroom for their students.

BOGEAV: Yeah, it sounds like the 1970s were kind of the height of all of that. The idea that Shakespeare should be performed out loud in the classroom and it just took off. What was it about that era, or what was the motivation behind that?

HAUGHEY: Well, you know, I think we’ve got several scholars starting to come onboard with the idea. Not everybody, but we see David Bevington in the 1970s writing about teaching Shakespeare and talking about it in terms of performance. We see in the 1980s, the Folger, starts doing workshops where they invite teachers. There’s a series of books, Shakespeare Set Free, that come out of that. Wonderful books for thinking about teaching Shakespeare that have been really influential. I know lots of high school teachers who have that on their desks and are referring to it throughout the whole Shakespeare unit, pulling ideas. So, I think we’re starting to see some of the scholars, the people who have some power in terms of how Shakespeare’s scholarship works, caring a lot about how teaching happens as well.

BOGEAV: Right, and just to give credit where credit is due, the Shakespeare Set Free series, was done by Peggy O’Brien. She’s the director of education now at the Folger.

HAUGHEY: Yes, and she has done wonderful… she’s still doing wonderful, wonderful things for a long time with both the Folger, she also is at NCTE. She does wonderful sessions there at the NCTE National Convention every year. Lots of good things happening.

And to give some other credit too, lots of good stuff happening to other theater companies as well throughout the United States. Where we see theaters taking an active role, inviting students to their theaters, but also forming education programs starting the last part of the 20th century and on through today. Where they really care about how kids interact with Shakespeare. And that’s meant a lot.

BOGEAV: Well, we just had a conversation on the podcast about pop culture and teaching Shakespeare and our guests talked about how some teachers are more comfortable than others with bringing things into the classroom, like graphic novels based on Shakespeare. What tensions have you noticed? Is there tension? Is there a debate about the place of pop culture, and… in a Shakespeare curriculum?

HAUGHEY: I think to a degree, there is, and I think it’s a debate that’s been ongoing for a century. If we look back at the earliest editions of English journal, we see questions about—in terms of rigor—should we be reading just the classics? Should we be abbreviating or changing those classics in any way, such as a graphic adaptation of Shakespeare? Do we need to really be stripped, really rigorous, or can we bring in novels, magazines? That’s a conversation we still have.

We have to make difficult choices as teachers. You will find teachers who will say well, “No, no, no, if we only have this much time to do to Shakespeare, then we need to do this.” And performance-based approaches take time. To actually get the kids up on their feet is chaotic, and loud, but it’s wonderful. So, I’m a strong advocate, but yeah, not everyone is. There still is some pushback.

BOGEAV: Well, what is the next chapter in this story of how Shakespeare is taught? We’ve done interviews with people who’ve made an immersive 3D version of Hamlet. Is that the next wave of Shakespeare curriculum?

HAUGHEY: Maybe. There’s lots of cool stuff happening, but I think the key is always getting back to Shakespeare’s language and getting back to his words. So I’m a little bit hesitant of some… well, I guess I want to see it, right? I want to see what you’re doing with the language, how you’re bring Shakespeare’s language to life for kids.

In terms of where we go next, if it’s rooted in language, if it’s rooted in Shakespeare’s words and a relationship with those words and living those words out, then I’m really excited about it. I want to see how kids interact with, and I want to hear Shakespeare’s language coming out of the kids.

BOGEAV: I’ll have to get you together with our guests from Boston.

HAUGHEY: That would be wonderful.

BOGEAV: So that you can put your headset on. It’s so delightful to talk with you professor. Thank you.

HAUGHEY: Well, thank you so much. It’s been delightful talking to you as well.


MICHAEL WITMORE: Dr. Joseph Haughey is a professor in the Department of Language, Literature, and Writing in the College of Arts and Sciences at Northwest Missouri State University. He’s written a book-length manuscript on the evolution of Shakespeare instruction in American schools. Dr. Haughey was interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

Our podcast, O This Learning, What A Thing It Is!, was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. We had technical help from Paul Luke at Voice-Trax-West in Studio City, California, and Patty Holley at public radio station K-X-C-V / K-R-N-W in Maryville, Missouri.

If your enjoying Shakespeare Unlimited, and if you’re looking for a way to let other people know about it, please leave us a positive review on Apple Podcasts. That really is the best way to help. Thanks so much.

Shakespeare Unlimited comes to you from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger is dedicated to advancing knowledge and the arts. You can find more about the Folger at our website,

Thanks for listening. For the Folger Shakespeare Library, I’m Folger Director Michael Witmore.