Ira Aldridge takes the stage

Since their revival by David Garrick in the early eighteenth century, Shakespeare and his plays have always generated a certain aura of celebrity, sometimes referred to as “Bardolatry.” Following in the footsteps of Garrick, stage actors regularly rose to stardom on the strength of their Shakespearean performances, and would continue to play their “signature” roles… Continue Reading »




Kim Hall: Bringing African American experiences to Shakespeare

Paul Robeson was the first modern African American to perform Shakespeare—to perform Othello, and he talks in his letters and in his essays about bringing his experiences as a student in a white arena, his experiences with racism, to the performance. So for him as an actor, he brought his experience as an African American in a racist society to this performance of Othello, a black man in a racist society. Other actors who saw him said it was like seeing Othello for the first time.


Quiz: Shakespeare’s lovers

Can you match up these Shakespearean lovers? Take the quiz and challenge your friends.


Shakespeare treasures, up for adoption

A 1957 Taming of the Shrew with beautiful lithographs. Song lyrics from 1769 extolling the goblet carved from a mulberry tree supposedly planted by Shakespeare. These and other recent additions to the Folger Shakespeare Library collection will be up for adoption in February at Acquisitions Night.


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