Posts By: Shakespeare & Beyond

Excerpt: ‘Irregular Unions’ by Katharine Cleland

Katharine Cleland examines Jessica and Lorenzo’s clandestine marriage in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” in this excerpt from her book “Irregular Unions.”


Quiz: Greek mythological figures in Shakespeare’s plays

Troilus and Cressida is perhaps Shakespeare’s most obvious connection with classic Greek literature, given that the play’s events occur during the Trojan War. But references to Greek mythology are liberally sprinkled throughout the rest of Shakespeare’s plays as well. See if you can identify which mythological figure is being discussed in each of the following Shakespeare quotes.


Highlights from Shakespeare’s Birthday 2021

Thanks for celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday with us this year! We received many creative and inspiring responses to our invitation to #ShareYourShakespeare on social media. Many people recited a line, speech, or sonnet from Shakespeare’s works. Here are a few of our favorites.


Up Close: A ‘Seven Ages of Man’ painting

Take a closer look at a 19th-century oil painting in the Folger collection that depicts all seven ages of man from Jaques’s speech in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”


Order It: Sonnet 98

It’s springtime, and Sonnet 98 is a wonderful seasonal selection from Shakespeare. Take this quiz to see if you can put the sonnet’s 14 lines into their correct order.


Excerpt: ‘Shakespeare and Lost Plays’ by David McInnis

When it comes to the theatrical landscape of Shakespeare’s London, there are the plays whose names we are familiar with — plays like Hamlet and Henry V — and then there are the plays that were being performed around the same time and that Shakespeare’s audiences would have known well, but that are lost to us today. Read an excerpt from a new book about these plays.



Up Close: Shakespeare’s First Folio

Get an up-close look at the title page of one of the Folger’s 82 First Folios and learn more about it by clicking through captions that zoom in on different parts of the page.



Quiz: Match Shakespeare characters with costume designs

We’ve selected some costume designs from the Folger Shakespeare Library collection, and your challenge is to determine which Shakespeare characters they depict. Pay attention to small details that will give you clues!