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

November 17, 2014

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?


Rape of Lucrece – Class 2 of School of Night

November 8, 2014

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?


Mysteries of the First Folio
Episode 7 with Katherine Chiljan

January 27, 2013

https://media.blubrry.com/the_shakespeare_underground/archive.org/download/TSU07_MysteriesOfFirstFolio/TSU_07_Mysteries_of_First_Folio.mp3Podcast: 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 world…


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

December 15, 2012

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.


The Comedy of Othello: Commedia dell’Arte and Shakespeare the Genre-Bender
Episode 5 with Richard Whalen

September 3, 2012

Does Shakespeare’s bleak tragedy of jealousy and betrayal have roots in Commedia dell’Arte? Richard Whalen, co-editor of the Oxfordian edition of Othello, reveals the play’s surprising comic underpinnings, and addresses the mystery of Shakespeare’s knowledge of Italian comedy. How did Shakespeare come to be so deeply influenced by a style of theater that was not performed in England during his most active writing years?


The Apocryphal William Shakespeare:
Episode 4 with Sabrina Feldman

July 31, 2012

What is your favorite Shakespeare play – Locrine? maybe The London Prodigall? Or perhaps the superhit Mucedorus, reprinted in at least 17 quarto editions, more than any other extant play of the era. These dramas and more are part of the “Shakespeare Apocrypha,” works that were attributed to William Shakespeare during the 17th century, in several cases during the Stratford man’s lifetime. In this episode, Allan Armstrong interviews Dr. Sabrina Feldman, author of The Apocryphal William Shakespeare, to discover the story behind these intriguing but nearly-forgotten plays that have been kicked out of the Shakespeare Canon.


Midsummer Monsieur: Episode 3 with Earl Showerman

May 9, 2012

Does A Midsummer Night’s Dream satirize Queen Elizabeth’s courtship with the Duc of Alençon, brother to King Henry III of France? Join Dr. Earl Showerman for a spirited visit to the court of the Virgin Queen, where politics, love, image-making and theater weave together in a confused tangle, and discover links from this colorful time to Shakespeare’s magical comedy.


The Law in Hamlet: Episode 2 with Tom Regnier

December 7, 2011

https://media.blubrry.com/the_shakespeare_underground/archive.org/download/TSU02_LawInHamlet/TSU_02_Law_in_Hamlet.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download Can the intricacies of Elizabethan Law shed new light on the tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark? In this fascinating interview with attorney Tom Regnier, we look at how Shakespeare uses the law in the plays and Sonnets, why scholars and lawyers have claimed that Shakespeare had legal training, and — surprisingly — how themes…


Where There’s a Will: Episode 1 with Bonner Miller Cutting

September 22, 2011

https://media.blubrry.com/the_shakespeare_underground/archive.org/download/TSU01_WillsWill/TSU_01_WillsWill.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadWe have few records from the life of William Shakespeare. Most are related to petty lawsuits or the purchase of property. The most personal document that remains is his Last Will & Testament. Researcher Bonner Miller Cutting looked at some 3,000 wills from Shakespeare’s day, and in this fascinating…