Posts By: rniles

The post-modern peregrinations of Pericles

The story of Pericles continues to be retold by twenty-first century novelists, among them Mark Haddon, in The Porpoise (2019), and Ali Smith, in Spring (2019), the penultimate book in her “Seasonal Quartet.”


What theater makers learned from 2020

We asked some of our Shakespeare theater partners what the events of 2020 had illuminated for them about Shakespeare and theater.


Early modern sleep care: Recipes for restful sleep

Thomas Sheppey devoted several densely written pages of his 17th-century manuscript to the topic of sleep — how to trigger it, how to interrupt it, how to influence its depth and length, and even how to stop people talking in their sleep.


These Violent Delights: Retelling Romeo and Juliet

Chloe Gong writes about adapting “Romeo and Juliet” into her debut novel, “These Violent Delights,” which focuses on the blood feud at the heart of Shakespeare’s play. The story is about two teen heirs of rival gangs in 1920s Shanghai.



Hating on star-gazing: Early modern astrology and its critics

Where do you turn for answers to pressing questions? You might glance at a weather forecast, the latest political polls, a book of theology or philosophy—or flip a coin. People living in the early modern period likewise had their ways of seeking solutions to life’s puzzles and finding guidance in the face of uncertainty. Besides prayer, a common practice was to turn to astrology and read the heavens for their influences upon human agents. Indeed, it is hard to overstate how pervasive astrological belief was during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. At once esoteric and yet imminently practical, Renaissance astrology touched upon all sectors of early modern lives.


Does a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Modern perfumes and the Myth of the Tudors

Does a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Can we capture the perfumes of the past to savor in the present? This blog post looks at two 21st-century perfumes that try to market their scents by evoking early modern English royalty. These perfumes attempt to transport the wearer through an olfactive time machine to Renaissance England, and to refashion a whole epoch of British history, distilled to its most enduring and distinctive scent: the rose. But how does one create a perfume that can claim to smell of “Tudor” or “Elisabethan” rose?


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.


The irony of the American Moor

‘American Moor’ playwright and actor Keith Hamilton Cobb writes about speaking back to Shakespeare, White American Theater, and frameworks of privilege.