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 »


“A goodly prize”: Award-winning Shakespeare movies

Since we’ve just completed the annual Hollywood marathon called “Awards Season” — several self-congratulatory months filled with the Independent Spirit Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, various guild awards from around the world, the British Film & Television Academy Awards (the Baftas), and capped off by the Academy Awards (the Oscars) — it might be interesting… Continue Reading »



The madness of Hamlet and King Lear: When psychiatrists used Shakespeare to argue legal definitions of insanity in the courtroom

Well-known Shakespeare characters such as King Lear and Hamlet suffer (or appear to suffer) from madness — and early American psychiatrists took note. Observations drawn from literature began to bleed into courtroom testimony regarding insanity pleas. “From the mid-1840s through about the mid-1860s in the United States, during the first generation of American psychiatry, no… Continue Reading »