Is Shakespeare for everyone?

Austin Tichenor makes the case for why we should say “Shakespeare is for anyone who wants him” instead of “Shakespeare is for everyone.”


The unlikely link between a sixth-century queen and Macbeth

While working on “The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry that Forged the Medieval World,” Shelley Puhak stumbled across a connection between her subjects and Shakespeare. Her book is a dual biography of Brunhild and Fredegund, two queens who, as long-term regents for their underage male relatives, ruled over most of sixth-century Western Europe. Fredegund was born a slave; Brunhild was a Visigoth princess. Despite their vastly different backgrounds, they ended up as sisters-in-law and political rivals who negotiated with emperors and popes, revitalized cities, revamped tax policy, and conducted a decades-long civil war—against each other. Echoes of one conflict in that war, the 593 Battle of Droizy, have been preserved in Macbeth’s final act, when Birnam Wood arrives at Dunsinane.


Picturing early modern women athletes

Folger fellow Peter Radford explores the history of picturing women athletes from ancient Greece to early modern Europe, how these images can be hard to find and interpret, but also why they’re so valuable and compelling.


The evolution of American Moor: The Untitled Othello Project

Keith Hamilton Cobb reflects on his play American Moor and how the questions he received in response to it led to the development of the Untitled Othello Project, a deeply scrutinizing exploration of Shakespeare’s text.


Glimpses of women athletes in 18th-century England

A Folger fellow and former Olympian shares images and stories of 18th-century women athletes in England who competed in races, fights, cricket matches, and more.


What’s onstage at Shakespeare theaters in February

There’s nothing intuitive about a month with 28 (sometimes 29) days and an unpredictable number of Rs in its name. But once you see what the Folger’s theater partners have onstage this month, seeing a show at a theater near you will be a no-brainer.