Spilling the beans: The Islamic history of coffee

Before there were Starbucks and the quirky coffeeshops masquerading as cozy work corners for many of us, there was the mid-17th century coffeeshop boom in England. During the 1600s, the general conversation about coffee nodded to its status as the Islamic other. Othello, the Shakespearean Moor, was turned into a villain and likened to coffee… Continue Reading »


Where to find Shakespeare in May

Check out awesome performances and programs from Shakespeare theaters across the United States this month.


Excerpt: ‘Irregular Unions’ by Katharine Cleland

Katharine Cleland examines Jessica and Lorenzo’s clandestine marriage in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” in this excerpt from her book “Irregular Unions.”


Quiz: Greek mythological figures in Shakespeare’s plays

Troilus and Cressida is perhaps Shakespeare’s most obvious connection with classic Greek literature, given that the play’s events occur during the Trojan War. But references to Greek mythology are liberally sprinkled throughout the rest of Shakespeare’s plays as well. See if you can identify which mythological figure is being discussed in each of the following Shakespeare quotes.


“Painter’s art”: Biofictional perspectives on Shakespeare

Depictions of William Shakespeare in fictional works are animated by the same impulse behind fanfiction — to fill in the blanks of the story — and such imaginative speculation can help us understand Shakespeare’s life in a richer, possibly more responsible way than standard biography. Biofiction places a real person into a fictional narrative, and… Continue Reading »