Aphrodite (Venus): The oft-invoked goddess of love

One of the figures that Shakespeare and his characters frequently invoke is Aphrodite, the goddess of love, often referred to by her Roman name, Venus, both in the plays and sonnets and in Shakespeare’s popular long poem, Venus and Adonis. He and his love-struck characters also often allude to her son, Cupid, armed with love’s arrows.


Excerpt: Culinary Shakespeare

Eating and drinking were of central importance to Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Culinary Shakespeare, the first collection devoted solely to the study of food and drink in Shakespeare’s plays, reframes questions about cuisine, eating, and meals in early modern drama. Culinary Shakespeare, edited by David B. Goldstein and Amy L. Tigner, is available in a… Continue Reading »


Excerpt: The Private Life of William Shakespeare

Lena Cowen Orlin, the Folger Institute’s former Executive Director, illuminates key parts of Shakespeare’s life in her new book, from his father and his wedding to his home, will, and memorial bust; the replica of the bust shown here is at the Folger.



Folger Finds: Edwin Booth’s royal tunic

Marking the anniversary of actor Edwin Booth’s birth on November 13, 1833, we explore a stunning historical costume from the Folger collection: an embroidered-velvet tunic that Booth wore onstage as King Richard III.