Posts By: Shakespeare & Beyond


Shakespeare, improvisation, and the art of rhetoric

Shakespeare characters like Viola and Iago are masters of improvisation, says Folger Director MIchael Witmore in this excerpt from the 2017 Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture.


Quiz: The songs in Shakespeare’s plays

Shakespeare’s plays are filled with music. Using some context clues, match these songs to the plays in which they appear.



Shakespeare and the American Revolution

By the time the first battles of the American Revolution took place in 1775, Shakespeare had been imported from England on stage and page to the New World.




Duke Ellington’s Such Sweet Thunder: Shakespeare and jazz

It’s been 60 years since Duke Ellington recorded Such Sweet Thunder, a jazz suite based on Shakespeare’s plays. Eleven songs are linked to Shakespearean characters like Othello and Lady Macbeth, and the final number is a tribute to Shakespeare himself.


Taking Hamlet around the globe

To commemorate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth in 2014, Shakespeare’s Globe in London sent a group of actors on a two-year tour to perform Hamlet all around the world. Dominic Dromgoole, the Globe’s artistic director who directed this traveling production, has written a new book about it, “Hamlet Globe to Globe.” Read an excerpt from it.


A recipe for 1610 rose cakes

Francine Segan, a food historian with a taste for the Renaissance, adapts a 1610 handwritten recipe for rose cakes from a recipe book that’s part of the Folger collection.


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