“The Taming of the Shrew” on the American stage before “Kiss Me, Kate”: An excerpt from “Shakespeare in a Divided America” by James Shapiro

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 »




Translating the Chinese classic ‘The Peony Pavilion’ with a ‘Shakespearean flavor’

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 »



“Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen”: Hedgehogs in Shakespeare’s plays and the early modern imagination

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 »