Paul Robeson was the first modern African American to perform Shakespeare—to perform Othello, and he talks in his letters and in his essays about bringing his experiences as a student in a white arena, his experiences with racism, to the performance. So for him as an actor, he brought his experience as an African American in a racist society to this performance of Othello, a black man in a racist society. Other actors who saw him said it was like seeing Othello for the first time.
Posts By: Shakespeare & Beyond
A 1957 Taming of the Shrew with beautiful lithographs. Song lyrics from 1769 extolling the goblet carved from a mulberry tree supposedly planted by Shakespeare. These and other recent additions to the Folger Shakespeare Library collection will be up for adoption in February at Acquisitions Night.
Whether you’re giving a valentine to a sweetheart or a friend, why not say it with Shakespeare? We have a new set of beautifully illustrated Shakespeare valentines for you, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
To commemorate Black History Month in February, we’re sharing a playlist of Shakespeare Unlimited episodes about the African American experience, important global figures, and the history of Shakespeare performance in Africa and the Caribbean. The podcast is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, Google Play, Spotify, and NPR One. Shakespeare in Black and White This podcast episode revisits… Continue Reading »
Dig deeper into one of the biggest Shakespeare stories of 2016: the discovery of previously unknown depictions of Shakespeare’s coat of arms. Folger Curator of Manuscripts Heather Wolfe and Folger Director Michael Witmore elaborate on the significance of those discoveries and the insights they yield about Shakespeare.
In this excerpt from the Shakespeare Anniversary Lecture Series at the Folger, Yale professor Joseph Roach argues that “the theater occasionally makes real history itself, materializing it for audiences by its own expressive means, especially so during an age of revolution and counter-revolution. And what age isn’t an age of that?”
Food historian Francine Segan has a taste for the Renaissance and a love of Shakespeare. Here she adapts a recipe for “Citron pye” from a 1587 cookbook. You’ll find an intense combination of vinegar and pepper in these citrus tarts.
This is an excerpt from Yale professor Joseph Roach’s talk for the Shakespeare Anniversary Lecture Series at the Folger Shakespeare Library in October 2016. Listen to the full recording on SoundCloud. The most humble or even abject items of material culture—take stage properties, for instance—can speak eloquently about history, if we will only listen carefully… Continue Reading »
If Shakespeare characters were making New Year’s resolutions, what would (or should) they be? Here are a few of our favorite responses from Twitter.
Twelfth Night is a Christian holiday typically celebrated on January 5 or 6, concluding the 12 days of Christmas and celebrating the visit of the Magi (the three kings). Twelfth Night is also, of course, the name of a Shakespeare play, although whether he wrote it to be performed during holiday festivities is up for debate…. Continue Reading »