Quiz: Shakespeare’s Fools

Shakespeare’s plays are filled with fools like the ones pictured above, from Touchstone in As You Like It, to Feste in Twelfth Night—as well as characters in strong comedic roles, such as the Gravedigger, in Hamlet, or Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing. Can you match the name of the fool to the line that he… Continue Reading »



Cervantes, the Moors of Spain, and the Moor of Venice

Of all Shakespeare’s plays, Othello is the one that is most frequently compared to Spanish literature in the age of Cervantes. This is due in large part to the role that jealousy plays in driving Othello to kill Desdemona. We might recall Iago’s famous warning: “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; / It is the… Continue Reading »


A behind-the-scenes tour of the Folger conservation lab

Up on the third floor of the Folger Shakespeare Library, conservators work meticulously with rare books and other collection materials: preserving, repairing, preparing for display, and packaging for travel. Renate Mesmer, head of conservation, takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Werner Gundersheimer Conservation Laboratory for this Shakespeare Unlimited podcast episode. 


Would you buy a used car from William Shakespeare? How about mustard?

Would you buy a bicycle if William Shakespeare sold it to you? How about trading up to a Cadillac? Over the years, advertisers have counted on the novelty of Shakespeare, and his memorable characters, to sell their products. The brochure on the right parallels the literary achievement of Shakespeare with the automotive achievement of the… Continue Reading »


Beware the Ides of March

The Soothsayer says, “Beware the Ides of March.” Suddenly a chill falls on Caesar’s festive procession to the forum to celebrate the Lupercalia at the opening of Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar. The line is repeated three times—once by Brutus and twice by the Soothsayer—but is brushed aside by Caesar who responds, “He is a dreamer…. Continue Reading »


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