Up Close: A ‘Seven Ages of Man’ painting

Take a closer look at a 19th-century oil painting in the Folger collection that depicts all seven ages of man from Jaques’s speech in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”


Where to Find Shakespeare in April

Find out how Shakespeare theaters across the United States are celebrating the Bard’s birthday this year.


Better than laughing: Renaissance melancholy

The most famous book about Renaissance melancholy, Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), celebrates its four hundredth anniversary this year. Though it was published five years after Shakespeare’s death, it gathers together ideas about melancholy from antiquity right through to the seventeenth century.


Order It: Sonnet 98

It’s springtime, and Sonnet 98 is a wonderful seasonal selection from Shakespeare. Take this quiz to see if you can put the sonnet’s 14 lines into their correct order.


Excerpt: ‘Shakespeare and Lost Plays’ by David McInnis

When it comes to the theatrical landscape of Shakespeare’s London, there are the plays whose names we are familiar with — plays like Hamlet and Henry V — and then there are the plays that were being performed around the same time and that Shakespeare’s audiences would have known well, but that are lost to us today. Read an excerpt from a new book about these plays.


‘In the spiced Indian air’: Trading coin and cloth in the empire of the Great Mughal

The spiced air of India was the stuff of legend in Shakespeare’s England, and is brought to vivid life in this famous passage from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” These were images which Shakespeare knew his audiences would understand, during a period in which England had begun its sea voyages to Asia in earnest, and the fabulous possibilities of directly accessing the merchandise of India were being realized for the first time.