Posts By: Emma Poltrack

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 »




Elsie Leslie: Sparkling Child Star of the American Stage

Discover American child star Elsie Leslie through a fascinating mix of Folger finds, including Elsie Leslie as Prince Arthur in King John and posing for a photo with preeminent actor Edwin Booth.


A world of poison: The Overbury scandal

The poisoning in Shakespeare’s play King John, and in Romeo and Hamlet, too, had real-world parallels, too. Delve into the infamous story of Thomas Overbury’s death at the Tower of London in 1613.