The Taming of the Shrew is often referred to as one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays” because of its controversial depiction of gender roles; last year’s Broadway production of Kiss Me, Kate, the 1948 musical based on The Taming of the Shrew, revived discussions of the sexism at the heart of the story and its 16th-century… Continue Reading »
In Act 1, Scene 3 of Othello, the manipulative Iago urges Roderigo, a wealthy Venetian recently disappointed in love, to join him in a plot to humiliate Othello. Reveling in the destruction he plans to inflict upon Othello’s romance with Desdemona, Iago declares that “The food that to him now is as luscious as locusts… Continue Reading »
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Could Chinese literature be more popular with English-speaking audiences if translators favored words, phrases and poetic forms that spark associations with Shakespeare? This is the question being explored by Bikang Huang, who came to the Folger Shakespeare Library last summer on an artist-in-residence fellowship. The scholar from Peking University in China is scrutinizing common approaches… Continue Reading »
The Merry Wives of Windsor was written at the end of the 16th century, and is what I would call – using the technical term – one of Shakespeare’s “puff-ball” plays. Like Comedy of Errors, the play is a farce: it’s about action, not about the deep questions that keep people up at night. These… Continue Reading »
While the global population of European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) is stable, their numbers have been rapidly declining in the UK for decades, especially in rural areas. This has led to a huge upswell of conservation efforts as people try to protect the UK’s only spiny mammal, and one of these efforts is centered in Shakespeare’s… Continue Reading »