Posts By: Shakespeare & Beyond

Quiz: Siblings in Shakespeare’s plays

Shakespeare’s plays are full of brothers and sisters. Test your knowledge by seeing if you can correctly identify these characters’ siblings. Siblings in Shakespeare’s Plays Shakespeare’s plays are full of brothers and sisters. Can you correctly identify these characters’ siblings? In Twelfth Night, Viola’s twin brother is separated from her by a shipwreck, but by… Continue Reading »


Top Folger Finds on Instagram in 2021: Shakespeare books

Calling all book lovers! Some of our most popular #FolgerFinds posts on Instagram this year featured beautiful bindings of Shakespeare’s collected works or early editions of Shakespeare plays that may have slightly different plot elements than the versions we’ve come to see as standard. One of these quartos, an early edition of A Midsummer Night’s… Continue Reading »



Top Shakespeare Unlimited podcast episodes of 2021

Our top Shakespeare Unlimited podcast episodes from 2021 explore the British royal family, a Shakespeare-inspired novel, lost plays, and more. Happy listening! How We Hear Shakespeare’s Plays, with Carla Della Gatta In Shakespeare’s time, people talked about going to hear a play and going to see one in equal measure. So what exactly do we… Continue Reading »


Excerpt: Learwife by J. R. Thorp

Picking up where Shakespeare’s King Lear ends, a new novel imagines the life of Lear’s wife, who in this telling has been banished for 15 years when she receives word of her family members’ deaths. Learwife by J.R. Thorp gives voice to a character who is notably absent from Shakespeare’s tragedy, which focuses on the… Continue Reading »


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 »


The origins of the English history play – Excerpt: The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and War

What is the English history play? “A dramatic study of civil conflict in England,” writes David Bevington in this excerpt from the newly published Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and War. “Above all, its purpose is to explore the causes, the struggles, the personal motivations of the major participants, and the means by which civil conflict… Continue Reading »


Excerpt: ‘Shakespearean’ by Robert McCrum

When Robert McCrum began his recovery from a life-changing stroke in the 1990s, he discovered that the only words that made sense to him were snatches of Shakespeare. The First Folio became an endless source of inspiration for “journeys of the mind.” This excerpt from his recent book “Shakespearean” is an ode to “Hamlet.”


Excerpt – Shakespeare and Forgetting – by Peter Holland

Shakespeare and Forgetting by Peter Holland considers how Shakespeare explores the concept of forgetting and how forgetting functions in performance. The excerpt below focuses on the character of Sir John Falstaff, who appears in several of Shakespeare’s plays. Why do multiple characters struggle to remember Falstaff’s name?


Folger Finds: A Shakespeare quilt

When you picture what’s in the Folger collection, many people imagine books and manuscripts from the early modern period — and we do have a lot of those! But the Folger also collects a variety of Shakespeare-related objects, including this quilt created in 1986: “Homage to Shakespeare ’With wonder great as my content’.”