Up Close: An 18th-century caricature of the Shakespeare-forging William Henry Ireland and his family

This hand-colored caricature from 1797, “The Oaken Chest or the Gold Mines of Ireland, a Farce,” satirizes William Henry Ireland and his family in their forgery of the “Shakespeare Papers.” The print is full of delightful details that will make you chuckle. Get an up-close look and learn more about this Folger collection item by clicking through the arrows to see captions that zoom in on different parts of the image.


Order It: Macbeth’s “Out, out, brief candle!”

As the play’s climactic battle approaches, Macbeth is told of his wife’s death. He responds, “She should have died hereafter. There would have been a time for such a word.” And then he launches into one of Shakespeare’s most famous soliloquies, about the fleeting and fragile nature of life. Can you correctly order these lines from Act 5, Scene 5?


Strange Shakespeare: Transforming ‘The Tempest’, classifying Caliban

Shakespeare became the Bard of Avon, the English national poet, in the roughly two hundred years following his death in 1616. During this period, his plays were constantly staged in theaters throughout the British Isles and their colonies—but often in forms that we would be hard pressed to recognize as “Shakespearean.” The Tempest is a particularly interesting case in point.


Where to find Shakespeare in September

Check out a mix of innovative online programming and safely socially-distanced in-person performances from Shakespeare companies across the US.



Shakespeare travesties, the philosophical and the popular

There are philosophical travesties, which use absurdity to further explore the ideas Shakespeare raised in his plays. And there are popular travesties, which are substantially less faithful to Shakespeare’s original, trafficking in the most well-known touchstones of the plays. Explore their roots in the 1800s.