The origins of the English history play – Excerpt: The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and War

What is the English history play? “A dramatic study of civil conflict in England,” writes David Bevington in this excerpt from the newly published Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and War. “Above all, its purpose is to explore the causes, the struggles, the personal motivations of the major participants, and the means by which civil conflict… Continue Reading »


“Woeful tragedy,” indeed

“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.


Introducing Shakespeare and Greek Myths: Theseus and Hippolyta

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?


Order It: Jaques’s “All the world’s a stage”

“All the world’s a stage,” says Jacques in a famous speech from As You Like It about life and the passage of time. Take this quiz to see if you can correctly order the lines that follow.


Shakespeare’s roles in the Caribbean

Shakespeare is woven into the culture of the British Caribbean, with a special emphasis on Caliban and The Tempest–but does he reflect the colonial past, influence anti-colonial authors, or both? Scholars Giselle Rampaul and Barrymore A. Bogues traced his complex role in a classic Shakespeare Unlimited interview.


Quiz: Which characters use foreign words and phrases?

Take this quiz to see if you can tell which characters in the plays used foreign words and phrases, including the famous three-word Latin question, “Et tu, Brutè?”