A 16th-century love charm of frog bones

In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, much of the comedic conflict derives from the application of the nectar of a magic flower. Under its influence, the queen of the fairies (Titania) becomes enamored of a donkey, and, through a bit of a mix-up, a spurned woman (Helena) suddenly finds herself desired by the man who… Continue Reading »


The world of Italy in Shakespeare’s comedies – Excerpt: Shakespeare and the Comedy of Enchantment

Italy is the setting most associated with Shakespeare’s comedies, providing layers of dramatic potential that Kent Cartwright explores in an excerpt from Shakespeare and the Comedy of Enchantment. “‘Italy,’ as an imagined construct, contains heightened civility yet also volatility and danger; at its best it facilitates new possibilities for the self and for human relations,”… Continue Reading »


Artemis, a fierce and fickle goddess

The last major goddess we will explore in this “Shakespeare and Greek Myths” series may have been Shakespeare’s favorite, based on the frequency with which he references her. Artemis was the goddess of chastity, hunting, and the moon, often depicted with her trusty bow and arrow and a short tunic to aid in running through… Continue Reading »


Quiz: Siblings in Shakespeare’s plays

Shakespeare’s plays are full of brothers and sisters. Test your knowledge by seeing if you can correctly identify these characters’ siblings. Siblings in Shakespeare’s Plays Shakespeare’s plays are full of brothers and sisters. Can you correctly identify these characters’ siblings? In Twelfth Night, Viola’s twin brother is separated from her by a shipwreck, but by… Continue Reading »


The power of restriction: Joel Coen’s ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’

A movie that honors a play’s theatricality: That’s what director Joel Coen said he wanted for The Tragedy of Macbeth, his new adaptation of the Scottish play. The result is a brilliant interpretation that’s my favorite kind of Shakespeare: it combines the artifice of theater with the techniques of film, especially the use of the… Continue Reading »


What’s onstage at Shakespeare theaters in January

This January, new productions kick off at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Plus, streaming productions of Macbeth, a podcast returns, and a new audio play.