“Its sense of empathy for the gendered position—and the pains and difficulties that accompany it on both sides—is at the heart of its comic warmth,” writes Paula Marantz Cohen about Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” in this excerpt from her new book, “Of Human Kindness: What Shakespeare Teaches Us About Empathy.”
Posts Categorized: Off-the-shelf
“Shakespeare’s dramas, in my interpretation, play with rival ideas of the nature of the political way,” writes Elizabeth Frazer. Read more in this excerpt from the introduction.
Chloe Gong writes about adapting “Romeo and Juliet” into her debut novel, “These Violent Delights,” which focuses on the blood feud at the heart of Shakespeare’s play. The story is about two teen heirs of rival gangs in 1920s Shanghai.
“I have had a most rare vision…” Bottom’s words in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” echo the language of Spanish conquistadors describing Aztec Mexico.
The excerpt begins: “Dante, poet and man, is obsessive. This is particularly true in the Latin meaning of the word: besiege or be besieged. Shakespeare’s protagonists sometimes are obsessive or besieged. Yet they can and do change. Leontes emerges from his madness. Prospero acknowledges Caliban, this thing of darkness, as his own. Falstaff dies, plucking at flowers and singing the twenty-third Psalm. Dante or Shakespeare? We need not choose. Who are we to choose? They choose us or pass us by.”
Read an excerpt from the introduction of a new book that assembles all of Shakespeare’s sonnets in their probable order of composition. The editors argue that readers can gain insight into Shakespeare’s personal experiences and emotions through the sonnets.
Check out summer reading recommendations from friends, colleagues, and partners.
Hamnet was William Shakespeare’s only son, but he died in 1596 at the age of 11. Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel, Hamnet, imagines a story in which a young Latin tutor—penniless and bullied by a violent father—falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman. They marry and start a family in Stratford-upon-Avon. But as the… Continue Reading »
American actress Charlotte Cushman was a 19th-century theatrical icon, known for playing traditionally male roles like Romeo and Hamlet. She was not the only actress of her time to play these parts, but her style was uniquely assertive and athletic. However, her breakout acting role was Lady Macbeth.
At the heart of Keith Hamilton Cobb’s one-man play American Moor are explorations of blackness, racial dynamics in American theater, “ownership” of Shakespeare, and the subtext of Othello. He has performed the play across the United States, including an off-Broadway run in 2019, and now the script has been published by Methuen Drama: Keith Hamilton… Continue Reading »