Posts Tagged: animals

Birds of Shakespeare: The ring-necked pheasant

Artist Missy Dunaway explores references to the pheasant in “The Winter’s Tale” on her bird-watching expedition through Shakespeare’s works.


Birds of Shakespeare: The kingfisher

Artist Missy Dunaway explores references to the kingfisher in two Shakespeare plays, King Lear and 1 Henry VI.


Birds of Shakespeare: The golden eagle

With the golden eagle, we continue following artist Missy Dunaway on a bird-watching expedition through Shakespeare’s works. The eagle soars throughout Shakespeare’s world, Renaissance literature, and beyond – symbolizing strength, power, and the divine.



Birds of Shakespeare: The cuckoo

Thanks to its peculiar reproductive cycle, distant migration, and haunting melodies, the cuckoo may hold the title for most folklore among Shakespeare’s birds.


Birds of Shakespeare: The barnacle goose

The barnacle goose, referenced in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” was an unmistakable symbol of metamorphosis for a 17th-century audience. It was commonly believed that the barnacle goose evolved from driftwood. Artist Missy Dunaway shares her painting of this fascinating bird along with an exploration of its literary associations.


Quiz: The animals in Shakespeare’s plays

Take our quiz on the amazing variety of animals in Shakespeare’s plays, from a mix of dogs and horses to song birds, ferocious wild animals, and much more.




Hares, conies, and rabbits: The hunted and the melancholy

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 »