Quiz: How well do you know the history of Shakespeare in America?

Who is America’s Shakespeare? Test your knowledge with this quiz. Want to learn more? Visit the Folger Shakespeare Library exhibition, America’s Shakespeare, through July 24, 2016 Listen to the Shakespeare in American Life radio documentary


Shakespeare and Cervantes: Dying well after living well

In The Art of Dying Well, the Italian Jesuit Robert Bellarmine, a contemporary of William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, declares, “True, therefore, is the sentence, ‘He who lives well, dies well;’ and, ‘He who lives ill, dies ill.’” This year marks the 400th anniversary of the deaths of Cervantes and Shakespeare—what might these two… Continue Reading »


Orson Welles and the Voodoo ‘Macbeth’ that launched his directing career

Can you feel the feverish excitement in the air? This photograph from April 14, 1936, shows the crowded streets outside the Lafayette Theatre in Harlem on opening night for the Federal Theatre Project’s Macbeth, directed by a young Orson Welles. (He was only 20 years old!) The Federal Theatre Project’s Negro Unit was a New Deal program under the… Continue Reading »


Creating Shakespeare’s First Folio

Imagine a world without Macbeth, Twelfth Night, or Julius Caesar. We likely wouldn’t have half of Shakespeare’s plays without the First Folio. Who was responsible for making this book, the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays in 1623? And how exactly was it put together? On this episode of Shakespeare Unlimited, we hear from Emma Smith,… Continue Reading »



Shakespeare’s birthday party

William Shakespeare entered and exited the world on the same date: April 23. This past weekend, the Folger Shakespeare Library commemorated the 400th anniversary of his death (1616-2016), but we also threw him a big birthday party as we do every year. It’s a beloved annual tradition at the Folger, in part because it also marks our… Continue Reading »


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