1606 was a critical year for Shakespeare’s creative career. It was the year in which he wrote King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra. It was also a time in which the king of England, James I, faced internal political challenges that threatened to tear the nation apart.
James Shapiro, our guest for this episode of Shakespeare Unlimited, is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. His new book, The Year of Lear, examines how the events of 1606 touched Shakespeare’s life and whether they are reflected in his work.
The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606, was published October 6, 2015, by Simon & Schuster. James Shapiro is also a member of the Folger’s Board of Governors. He was interviewed by Neva Grant.
This podcast episode is called “I Have Years On My Back.”
“I have years on my back…” –King Lear (1.4.39)
James Shapiro discussed The Year of Lear at a Folger Shakespeare Library event on October 7, 2015.