Posts By: Emma Poltrack

Shakespeare Lines for Evil Laughter

We’re helping you prepare for DC Public Library’s Evil Laugh Contest with some deviously delightful Shakespeare lines you can use in your performance.


Artemis, a fierce and fickle goddess

The last major goddess we will explore in this “Shakespeare and Greek Myths” series may have been Shakespeare’s favorite, based on the frequency with which he references her. Artemis was the goddess of chastity, hunting, and the moon, often depicted with her trusty bow and arrow and a short tunic to aid in running through… Continue Reading »


Athena: How Shakespeare’s plays invoke the Greek goddess of wisdom and battle strategy

We continue our “Shakespeare and Greek Myths” series with another major goddess of the Grecian pantheon, Athena. Also called Athene, Pallas, and Minerva (her Roman name), this patron of Athens was the deity devoted to wisdom, the law, and strategy as well as a supporter of the arts. Often aligning herself with heroic quests and military maneuvers, she is associated with a number of famous stories, leading to a number of allusions both direct and indirect within Shakespeare’s plays.


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.


Circe: A transformative enchantress

The enchantress Circe, best known for turning men into pigs, is mentioned several times in Shakespeare’s plays and has been a literary inspiration for more authors up to the present day. Explore her story in the latest installment of our series “Shakespeare and Greek Myths.”


Some spellbinding October reads

As we enter the year’s spookiest month, explore a trio of contemporary novels that involve early modern witchcraft. Much has changed since the deadly witch hunts of Shakespeare’s era, and the contrasting approaches of these books are a good way to see how far we’ve come.


Introducing Shakespeare and Greek Myths: Theseus and Hippolyta

Welcome to our new Shakespeare and Greek Myths series. We’re starting off with Theseus and Hippolyta–figures who are not only referred to in the plays, but are also fully formed characters in two of them: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Two Noble Kinsmen. But who are they and what are their backstories?



5 classic TV Shakespeare references from the late 60s and early 70s: The Flintstones, Gilligan’s Island, Star Trek, The Brady Bunch, and Happy Days

Shakespeare’s influence can be found in many aspects of American culture, from film adaptations to vegetable brands. It’s no wonder, then, that his stories and characters have often served as inspiration for television series—which in turn can influence interpretations of his plays. For example, Folger Theatre’s current production of The Merry Wives of Windsor (pictured… Continue Reading »