Posts By: Shakespeare & Beyond

Excerpt – “A Short History of Shakespeare in Performance” by Richard Schoch

How have directors sought to make Shakespeare productions relevant to contemporary political issues? What is it about these plays that makes them so politically resonant? Richard Schoch (Queen’s University Belfast) explores these questions in the excerpt below, taken from A Short History of Shakespeare in Performance, which was recently published as part of Cambridge University… Continue Reading »


Quiz: Shakespeare characters in disguise

Shakespeare’s plays are full of characters who pretend to be someone else. Take this quiz to see if you can match each character with the false name they assume as part of their disguise.


Excerpt – “Ghosts, Holes, Rips and Scrapes: Shakespeare in 1619, Bibliography in the Longue Durée” by Zachary Lesser

What’s the most influential book for Shakespeare scholarship? The First Folio of 1623 immediately comes to mind for many. However, there’s another book, less famous but still incredibly important for Shakespeare scholars: Edward Gwynn’s set of Pavier Quartos, found in the Folger Shakespeare Library collection. Zachary Lesser takes a close look at the plays bound… Continue Reading »


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.