“We’re told from a young age that tragedy teaches us important things about what it means to be human. But does it actually teach us anything, or simply reveal what we already know?” writes Austin Tichenor, who looks at Shakespeare’s tragedies and comedies–and suggests it’s the comedies that are underrated.
Posts Categorized: Inside-the-plays
Welcome to our new Shakespeare and Greek Myths series. We’re starting off with Theseus and Hippolyta–figures who are not only referred to in the plays, but are also fully formed characters in two of them: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Two Noble Kinsmen. But who are they and what are their backstories?
How do Shakespeare’s plays reflect a life filled with plague outbreaks, asks Austin Tichenor — and do we see his plays in new ways now?
“My kingdom for a horse!” A titanic villain in Shakespeare’s history plays, Richard III departs the stage and this life at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Mark the battle’s anniversary with these posts and podcast episodes.
In Shakespeare’s Henriad – Richard II (1595), Henry IV Part I (1596), Henry IV Part II (1597), and Henry V (1599) – English Christian characters frequently employ negative Turkish tropes when criticizing each other’s corrupt political agendas. However, these tropes differ from the more positive characterizations of the Ottomans found in English chronicles of Turkish history. By… Continue Reading »
A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream is one of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays, and for good reason. Frequently a young person’s introduction to the playwright’s work, it’s an entertaining comedy filled with magical fairies, earnest lovers, and funny mechanicals (as well as — in the best productions — intensely earnest mechanicals and lovers who are also… Continue Reading »
The most famous book about Renaissance melancholy, Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), celebrates its four hundredth anniversary this year. Though it was published five years after Shakespeare’s death, it gathers together ideas about melancholy from antiquity right through to the seventeenth century.
The word “love” appears 2,146 times in Shakespeare’s collected works (including a handful of “loves” and “loved”). Add to that 59 instances of “beloved” and 133 uses of “loving” and you’ve got yourself a “whole lotta love.” So, what does Shakespeare have to say about love? Here are 20 quotations from the Bard about love.
Chaotic and ineffective government may be a problem in our current life, but it makes for excellent drama in the theater — and in William Shakespeare’s hands, excellent comedy as well.
Tybalt (Rex Daugherty) duels Mercutio (Brad Koed), with Benvolio (Aaron Bliden) looking on. Romeo and Juliet, Folger Theatre, 2013. Casey Kaleba was the fight director. Photo by Teresa Wood. Is Romeo and Juliet a play about love? Well yes, but it’s also about violence, argues Casey Kaleba, the fight director for many Folger Theatre productions… Continue Reading »