Author Archives: Jennifer

The Winter’s Tale: Class 3 of School of Night

The Winter’s Tale: Class 3 of School of Night

HenryPlusJoin us for the final class of School of Night:

The Winter’s Tale as Tudor Family Allegory.

The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s more obscure and baffling plays. The title alone needs justification: the plot spans sixteen years and settles mostly in springtime. But more peculiar: if Shakespeare is so “universal,” what possible relevance to anyone is the story of a disowned girl whose brother dies young and whose insanely jealous father is responsible for the trial and death of her mother?

This class will feature more Renaissance paintings – this time Tudor family portraits – to demonstrate that Shakespeare’s primary target-audience was his own Queen, for whom he provided therapeutic comfort regarding her own extremely dysfunctional family background: Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Edward VI (and where is Bloody Mary?). Through The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare even provides Elizabeth with a glimpse of a lost beloved family member through a kind of dramatic resurrection, and a touching reconciliation.

Join Professor Michael Delahoyde on Thursday, November 20 at 9pm EST/6pm PST for this final class in the School of Night series.

Class prep is optional – read the play ahead of time if you like:

The Winter’s Tale full text

The Winter’s Tale staged reading – full audio

No time for the whole play? Watch this video synopsis from Salt ‘n’ Pepper Shakespearea detailed 20-minute summary (enacted with kitchen gadgets!).

Rape of Lucrece – Class 2 of School of Night

Rape of Lucrece – Class 2 of School of Night

Shakespeare’s “graver labour,” the follow-up long poem to mega-hit Venus and Adonis, is a strange piece indeed. Right after her horrific rape, Lucrece, Roman paragon of womanly virtue, takes a tour of the art on her own walls for about a tenth of the entire poem. What is Shakespeare saying about the relevance of “reading” art and applying it to one’s own circumstances and experiences?Continue Reading

The Shakespeare Hoax: School of Night kicks off Nov 6

Join us in the School of Night for a free three-part online Shakespeare Studies class with WSU Professor Michael Delahoyde. Our first class is The Shakespeare Hoax. Register here!   The Shakespeare Hoax November 6 9 p.m. Eastern / 6 p.m. Pacific Why does each avenue into the historical and biographical study of the StratfordContinue Reading

Online Shakespeare Authorship Class – November 6, 13, & 20

Join Washington State University Professor of English Michael Delahoyde and The Shakespeare Underground on three evenings in November for School of Night, an interactive class. These live video webcasts will feature real-time discussion via chat and a Q&A session in which participants with webcams can appear onscreen and converse with the group. The Shakespeare HoaxContinue Reading

Did John Florio edit Shakespeare’s First Folio?

In an article published in today’s Guardian, Saul Frampton sets out a case that John Florio, Italian linguist and poet at the English court, may have anonymously played a role in producing the first collection of Shakespeare’s plays. Modern scholars agree that actors John Heminges and Henry Condell, traditionally considered the Folio’s assemblers, were unlikelyContinue Reading

Jim Jarmusch and John Hurt bond over “Anti-Stratfordian” views

In a May 25, 2013 Festival de Cannes interview on Jim Jarmusch’s new film Only Lovers Left Alive, director Jarmusch and actor John Hurt engage in an impromtu discussion of the Shakespeare authorship mystery. The 3-minute digression begins when Hurt is asked about his role as a centuries-old vampire Christopher Marlowe: “Well, I’m here basicallyContinue Reading

Real People from Shakespeare’s History Plays on Pinterest

England’s Henry VI – weak king but successful ghost? Meet him (and others) on our new Pinterest board, Real People from Shakespeare’s History Plays.   King Henry VI (1421-1471). By age 1, Henry was King of England and France. A weak ruler who suffered incapacitating bouts of insanity, Henry was deposed twice. His power mayContinue Reading

Mysteries of the First FolioEpisode 7 with Katherine Chiljan

Mysteries of the First Folio
Episode 7 with Katherine Chiljan Play in new window | Download The First Folio has been called “incomparably the most important work in the English language.” First Folios are among the most prized books in the world. The 230 or so surviving copies are treasured for their age and rarity, but mostly for their close association to the worldContinue Reading

What is wrong with this picture?

  For centuries, questions and an aura of mystery have surrounded this portrait of William Shakespeare. The image appeared in the First Folio of 1623 and ever since, engraver Martin Droeshout has been castigated for this inept rendering. The slideshow above features criticism from dissatisfied, outraged — even suspicious — viewers. Hover your mouse overContinue Reading

Poet Ape, A Plagiarist Among the Playwrights: Episode 6 with Sabrina Feldman

Poet Ape, A Plagiarist Among the Playwrights: Episode 6 with Sabrina Feldman

Ben Jonson and other writers of Shakespeare’s time satirized a playwright-actor who stole their words and passed them off as his own. In epigrams and plays they attacked the plagiarist, who made a career from their works. Dr. Sabrina Feldman argues that the lampoons take aim at one highly successful playwright: the author of the Shakespeare Apocrypha. Allan Armstrong continues his conversation (begun in episode 4) with Sabrina Feldman, author of The Apocryphal William Shakespeare.Continue Reading

Tracking ideas with Google Ngram Viewer

Curious about the popularity of ideas over time? (Or terms, or spelling variations?) Here’s a fun tracking tool to play with: The Google Ngram Viewer. It charts the yearly count of n-grams, which are defined as phrases, words, or letter combinations. The resulting graph is based on usage in the 5+million books digitized by GoogleContinue Reading

T-Pen Digital Transcription Tool

Independent scholarship gets another boost with the release of T-Pen. This web-based software enables crowdsourced transcription of digitized texts, while supporting a more accurate recording process. T-Pen’s transcription interface appears on the same screen as the manuscript page, and helps readability and tracking with fancy tricks like striping each line of the text. Transcriptions canContinue Reading

Elizabeth I Calendar of State Papers Online

Internet Archive/Open Library hosts several volumes of the Calendar of State Papers, Domestic. Edward VI, Mary, Elizabeth, and James I, 1547-1625. Features a beautifully designed user interface and excellent search capability.  

Filming Shakespeare Webinar

Professors Russell Jackson and Stanley Wells look at Kenneth Branagh’s filmed Shakespeare adaptations in a webinar hosted by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Friday, October 26 4pm BST; 11am EST; 8am PDT Register here.