What would it have been like to live through the plague outbreaks of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries? And what insight does that give us into the mentions of plague in Shakespeare’s plays?
All right, enough. We’ve all heard how super-productive William Shakespeare was when the plague shut down his theaters: He wrote his epic poems Venus and Adonis and Lucrece during the epidemic of 1592-1593, and “all of [his] Jacobean plays, from Measure For Measure through Coriolanus” during or not long after later outbreaks. But surely the… Continue Reading »
When, in Henry IV, Part II, Bardolph calls his page a “whoreson upright rabbit,” he’s not exactly thinking of the animal we now know as rabbits. (2.2.84) In Shakespeare’s day, “rabbit” referred specifically to the young of conies (the European rabbit); it was a word like puppy or kitten. Adult rabbits were always called conies,… Continue Reading »
For Shakespeare’s birthday this year, the Folger Shakespeare Library partnered with the Royal Shakespeare Company to throw a virtual birthday party for Shakespeare, inviting people all around the world to #ShareYourShakespeare. Fans responded by reciting Shakespeare lines, staging scenes, striking poses, and creating art. Below we’ve shared a few highlights from the day.
What habits of mind should we seek to cultivate? In his new book How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance Education, Scott Newstok draws on Shakespeare’s plays and common instructional practices of his day to answer this question. One of these practices is conversation, the subject of the chapter from which the below… Continue Reading »
The coronavirus pandemic has forced the closure of theaters around the world, and it might seem at first glance that the theater community has come to a grinding halt. Yet amazingly, thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of its members, the opposite is true. Even as theaters sit empty, performance endures. This was also the… Continue Reading »