Excerpt: Jonathan Bate’s preface to the RSC’s second edition of Shakespeare’s complete works

“To know Shakespeare thoroughly and read him well aloud, it was necessary to have a usable edition of his works, a text that did away with printer’s errors and the vagaries of old spelling and punctuation, that explained the more obscure words and allusions in the plays, and that was furnished with critical guidance as to the nature of Shakespeare’s genius,” writes Jonathan Bate (referring to the notable Shakespeare editor Samuel Johnson) in this excerpt from the preface to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s newly published second edition of the complete works of Shakespeare.



Shakespeare’s birthplace: Embellishing an ordinary home

Richard Schoch examines the first published image of William Shakespeare’s birthplace from 1769, reflecting on the transformation of a humble home into a significant tourist site in Stratford-upon-Avon.


Five Folger Finds: A bouquet of flowers for spring

We’ve gathered a bouquet for you of flower illustrations in the Folger collection, ranging from watercolor paintings to hand-colored copperplate engravings. Enjoy these five blooms in celebration of spring.


Quiz: Can you identify these less well-known Shakespeare plays?

Many people are familiar with the popular Shakespeare plays like “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” But what about the plays that are considered more obscure? Take the quiz to test your knowledge.