Welcome!

The Shakespeare blog contains up to date articles about Shakespeare’s works, his world, and his plays in performance. There are over 500 articles to choose from, and in the past year it has received over 160,000 page views from 105,000 different people. You can begin browsing by choosing a category from the list on the right.

Listening to the Audience now contains links to a series of clips of audio recordings I’ve made on several productions of Hamlet as a first step in my project to gather memories of Shakespeare in performance. I’ve written a post on it for the RSC’s MyShakespeare blog. During the past year I’ve also completed a walking guide to Shakespeare’s Stratford, and more information is available through the tab above.

The Online Resources page contains information about some of my favourite Shakespeare websites, and you’ll find information about me, including my work and projects I’ve been involved in, on the About Me pages.

The site’s updated several times a week and you can ensure you always get the latest posts by subscribing. If  you have any comments or suggestions I’d love to hear from you.

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50 Responses to Welcome!

  1. Jan says:

    Just to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. I love all things to do with Shakespeare and it always gives me food for thought. Many thanks,
    Jan Kellett

  2. Happy New Year, Sylvia! Your blog has been a highlight of my Shakespearean year!

    I share links regularly on my Facebook page, Mrs Shakespeare.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mrs-Shakespeare/158201844194380

    All the best for 2012,
    Yvonne Hudson
    New Place Collaborations, LLC
    Pittsburgh, PA – USA

  3. Nick Miliokas says:

    I’m a newcomer to this blog. What I’ve read so far, I’ve enjoyed very much. I look forward to more of the same. Cheers.

  4. Minerva says:

    Would you maybe make a section for studies/conferences on Shakespeare? Some call for papers maybe?

  5. will maier says:

    Hi All – you may be interested in a new YOUTUBE channel – ShakespearesWorld – with videos by the Director of the Shakespeare Workshop in London – Tony Butler.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ShakespearesWorld?ob=0&feature=results_main

    See videos about
    Politically Incorrrect Shakespeare
    Shakespeare and the Audience’s Imagination

  6. Alan Somerset says:

    Sylvia, I just want to assure you how much I enjoy your delightful, well-written and informative Shakespeare Blog. What a way to have a happy retirement in Stratford, sharing insights and news with us. Many more, please!

  7. I’ve just stumbled across your blog and I’m delighted. I’m going to post a link to it from my school’s own blog and direct my students your way. Many thanks.

  8. Sue Cox says:

    I’m thoroughly enjoying your clever and entertaining blog. After reading today’s episode, I’m wondering if we know whether Susanna (and Shakespeare) has any living descendants.

    • Sylvia Morris says:

      Dear Sue,
      Thanks for your comment. Susanna’s only child, Elizabeth, died in 1670. It’s sad to relate that she was Shakespeare’s last living descendant. There are though many descendants of Shakespeare’s sister Joan Hart.

  9. robert says:

    nice site – well set out.
    the new African Caesar is awful.
    What connection does the greatest of Shakespeare’s Roman plays have with Africa?
    Answer – none, except in the mind of the producer and the political agenda he wants to plug.
    The RSC seem incapable of understanding European history and culture in anything other than a kind of muti purpose marxism.
    So, does this latest production gives us a greater understanding of roman history, and the historical Caesar which presumably Shakespeare was interested in exploring?
    Have to say this has been rather typical of the ensemble in recent years.

    • Sylvia Morris says:

      Thanks for this comment, but my feeling is that Shakespeare usually sets a play in a distant time/place to enable him to comment on events and politics of his own time, though the story of Julius Caesar would always be compelling. Ever since then people have adopted his work in order to forward their own political agenda, and it’s extraordinary how the same play can be used to promote multiple points of view. I’m sorry you’ve not enjoyed the latest RSC offering – better luck next time!

  10. robert says:

    Sylvia – thanks for that but its really not accurate to say he uses the plays to comment on the politics of the age. Such a view was alien to the drama and is counter intuitive. There is plenty of evidence that comment (outside the religious domain) was in fact a lot freer than it is now when we are not allowed to question liberal shibboleths in the media which are now virtually government mothpieces. Shakespeare was far more engaged by the whole question of reflecting on what history and time are and what is the part played by man, particularly great figures, in shaping that history.
    Richard II is often quoted in this connection and the depostion scene which is said to mirror the Essex revolt. But there is no verifiable evidence from first hand sources that Elizabeth did in fact say ” know you not that I am Richard II” and the so called evidence that the play was restaged at the time of the revolt is dubious to say the least. The government lawyer, Bacon, was in fact ordered to prepare a (false ) statement that Essex had arranged for a performance of RII to.. ” encourage the people to revolt.” It was known as spicing up the charges against a man who had just been executed for in effect a, containable, public disturbance.
    Its far more accurate to say that the authorites used Shakespeare – clear not only in the RII episode but also in the propaganda reference to Essex in Ireland in the prologue to Act V of Henry V.
    But then Essex was the favourite and not the villain.
    Nothing worse than out of date propaganda.

  11. Adele Winston says:

    I don’t agree that the media are government mouthpieces or that comment was free; comment could get you sent to the Tower. Wasn’t one of Shakespeare’s cousins executed?

  12. sue aldred says:

    Just discovered your blog today via Twitter. There seems to be an explosion of interest in Shakespeare just now and for me it’s a great antidote to the sporting side of the Olympics. I don’t find arguments about Shakespeare’s possible intentions, political of otherwise, to be particularly thrilling. I’m interested in the fact that his work can be recreated, live, and also on film and radio, to inspire new generations and audiences. First and foremost they are play texts, with the emphasis on play.

  13. Shane Brewer says:

    Hi. I’ve been browsing around your blog and must say “Well done!”. I also wanted to let you and your readership know about some Shakespearean work that’s being done on the canvas to some acclaim. Here is the link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1013766443/all-the-worlds-a-canvas?ref=home_location

  14. nick fogg says:

    Lovely piece on the Benson windows, Sylvia.
    You will be aware that the magnificent processional cross at Holy Trinity was given by the Bensonians in memory of their colleague Frank Rodney.
    Also one of the side chapels contains Rudyard Kipling’s tribute to the actors who had fallen in the Great War. Last time I went to have a look at it, it was covered over by restoration works though.
    Best regards
    Nick

    • Sylvia Morris says:

      I’ll be writing a post on the processional cross and the stories surrounding it in a few weeks so keep watching! It’s a very interesting object as you already know. I don’t know the Kipling tribute though – thanks for the information.

  15. Alan Butland says:

    Oh Sylvia, now you have done it. I’ve just been exploring The Space, courtesy of your blog. So many distractions. How will I ever complete my research with so many surely productions to look at?
    I’m putting myself on a strict ration from now.

  16. Alan Butland says:

    Thank you for your post about C Walter Hodges, he was a delightful artist, in both senses, and a great inspiration

  17. Alan Butland says:

    I recall seeing the RSC videos at the BFI somes years ago, and they are still very impressive. However, this series sat between two other major productions.

    The BBC’s AGE OF KINGS, which gave me my first taste of the Henries, with a terrific cast including Paul Daneman as Gloucester/Richard III.

    And later, there was the magnificent English Shakespeare Company Henries and Wars of the Roses to complete the cycle. This was also recorded and I was delighted to present the series for the Friends of Shakspeare’s Globe, ending with a Q&A with Michael Bogdanov.

    • Sylvia Morris says:

      Thanks Alan,
      Apparently An Age of Kings is available on DVD in the USA (and I imagine on Amazon) now. Presumably they were filmed in the studio, and I wonder if this experience led the director of the filmed Wars of the Roses to insist these should be filmed on stage? I agree it’s great that the ESC cycle was also filmed and is I imagine still available.

  18. Hi Sylvia, This is a fantastic and informative blog with a diverse range of articles – many thanks for running it! I have been doing everything I can recently to make Shakespeare more accessible for young people, partly by performing rap versions of the stories to give them a contemporary slant.. I currently have a pitch on kickstarter to fund a music video of my rap retelling of Othello, which I hope you won’t mind if I link here:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/249197860/othello-the-music-video

    Any support from anyone would of course be greatly appreciated as I hope this project will revolutionise the way in which young people engage with Shakespeare!

  19. As a Shakespeare scholar who writes fiction secondarily, I loved finding a blog devoted to Shakespeare that got its facts right, and joined immediately. Hope you don’t mind some blog-poaching: I mined this blog this morning for the right dates concerning Shakespeare’s application for a coat of arms to post on my own blog which focuses on Shakespeare in popular culture and contemporary theater at http://www.shakespearefiction.blogspot.com I will post a link to THIS blog on mine! Thanks, Grace Tiffany

  20. Much Ado About Shakespeare is this week’s topic at booktaste.com.
    Thanks for your excellent ongoing blog. Regards, Cathy.

  21. Alex Alcheh says:

    As an actor in NYC your thorough knowledge of the Bard and the people around him is a wonderful source for the avid theater goer and the aspiring actor alike. Your love of Peter Brook is wonderful and so worthy of a blog. His attention to detail and his storytelling is a gift that not many people have. I am currently in a production of Hamlet that is going in Rep with Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. I’m seeing the beauty and difficulties as is the rest of my cast at The Seeing Place Theater that you talk about with each blog. Keep up the great work and I’ll be sure to continue to check in with you.

  22. Petra Reid says:

    Will be visiting this site regularly in 2014 having just discovered it…Super! My own , “Mrs Laydee Shakespeare” ( on Blogger), exists for the sole purpose of “revisiting” the sonnets in real time, like a daily blog.

    • Sylvia Morris says:

      Thanks for this comment Petra. I hope you continue to enjoy the posts, and good luck with your own blog. The sonnets are rather indigestible if you try to read too many in a sitting so doing it over a period is a great idea! I hope you are enjoying them.

  23. This is an excellent Shakespeare site for thought-provoking articles. Moreover, in a day when the Internet teems with poorly crafted articles that ignore the rules of rhetoric, it is well-written.

  24. Petra Reid says:

    Hi Sylvia,

    The international element of this site is very inspiring…
    I wondered if there is any particular reason as to why my last comment is “awaiting moderation”?!

    Yours,
    Petra.

    • Sylvia Morris says:

      Apologies, Petra.

      • Petra Reid says:

        Thanks for that, Sylvia. What you’ve done here is so valuable for someone like me who is working in isolation on what has proved to be a rather more demanding undertaking than I had anticipated…and Martin Seymour-Smith is not always the best aid to digestion!

  25. My website is about introducing Shakespeare with a horror aspect! I have called my blog “ShakesFEARe”. I’m basically scaring people into liking Shakespeare by writing about the scary and interesting things that people didn’t know about the Shakespeare plays. If you would take a look at my blog, I would be most appreciated. Thank you for your time.

  26. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2084094080/femlet-its-just-our-thinking-that-makes-it-so

    In this adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the protagonist is a gay woman. Femlet is an inward morose woman, with a dark secret.

    Two massive and ruthless companies, the Dane Corporation and Norge Industries, are at war. The head of the Dane Corporation, President and CEO Hamlet Dane has died unexpectedly. His brother Claud Dane has taken control of the company and married his brother’s wife. Hamlet’s daughter Femlet Dane was being groomed by her father to become the CEO of the company, but her uncle has other plans. An inward morose woman everyone assumed this was just the way she was, but she has a dark secret. She is devastated at the unexpected death of her beloved father and incensed over her mother’s marriage to her uncle. Her hatred turns into rage and she slowly descends into madness.

  27. Robert Greenwood says:

    Most Wholesome Physic: Medicine in the Age of Shakespeare, 1564-1616.
    An exhibition at the Library of the Royal Society of Medicine to mark the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare.

    Tuesday 6 May 2014 until Saturday 26th July 2014.

    Monday – Thursday: 9.00 – 21.00
    Friday: 9.00 – 17.30
    Saturday: 10.00 – 16.30
    Admission free. Open to all.

    William Shakespeare was born at Stratford-upon-Avon on 22 April 1564. This exhibition of books from the Library of the Royal Society of Medicine is intended to mark the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. Almost all of the books on display were published in Shakespeare’s lifetime, and show many of the medical preoccupations of the age, liberally juxtaposed with quotations from the plays and poems. This was a great period for books published in the vernacular and therefore more accessible to a lay public, so much emphasis is given in this exhibition to works written in English, or translated into English.

  28. Sophie Abell says:

    Dear Sylvia,

    I wanted to write to you to say a huge thank you for your blog, I have just graduated this month from the University of Kent with a First in my Drama and Theatre Studies degree. During my degree I took part in all of the Shakespeare related modules that I could get my hands on. I love performing, watching, reading and discussing Shakespeare and I referenced articles from your blog countless times in my written work and essay papers. If I wasn’t sure about something then your blog is where I would search for the information. I am now saving every penny I have to do a Masters degree in Acting, as my life goal is to become a respected classical actor. I already know where I will be looking for inspiration when I (hopefully) start to study on my Masters course.

    Thank you so very much.
    Sophie Abell.

    • Sylvia Morris says:

      Dear Sophie,
      First of all, congratulations, that’s a brilliant result! Thanks so much for your kind comments. Writing a blog is strange as you never know if anybody is actually reading any of it, and to be honest I do because I enjoy the research. So it is great to know that you’ve found it helpful.
      All the very best of luck with your Masters and keep reading!
      Best wishes
      Sylvia

  29. And yet another project inspired by one of Shakespeare’s plays!

    http://kck.st/1sYZORa

    Clearly the man was the greatest mind writer of the English language the world has ever known. 400 years after his time on this planet and his works are still being done . . . and redone . . . and re-imagined. His plays are produced more than any other playwright in the history of recorded time. That to me is fascinating.

    Thank you Sylvia for providing this forum to celebrate his brilliance.

  30. Rita says:

    I am a homeschooling mom in the US and I love your blog. I do not look at any other blog but yours. I love to teach Shakespeare to little ones and your blog always gives me something to think about and possibley add to my lessons.
    Thank you!
    Rita

  31. Carly Salter says:

    Hi,
    Our English class has created Facebook pages for Romeo and Juliet. We are trying to bring the two characters into the public sphere and teach people about the play. Would love to have as much public participation as possible! Go comment.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Juliet-Capulet/757788420923440?ref=hl

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Romeo-Montague/1507345739549809?ref=hl

  32. Tim Keenan says:

    Hi, I liked your piece about Davenant’s Shakespeare adaptations and the surviving 17th Century wallpaper (Sir William Davenant and adapting Shakespeare, Restoration-style). For more about another Davenant adaptation (with Dryden) see here: https://www.academia.edu/619163/Adapting_the_adaptors_staging_Davenant_and_Drydens_Restoration_Tempest

    and/or http://restorationstaging.com

    Tim

  33. Anna Glockling says:

    This is what I read in the http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com page when I looked for when Romeo first talks to Juliet;If I profane with my unworthiest hand
    This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
    My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
    To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

    Isn’t it supposed to be:If I profane with my unworthiest hand
    This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:
    My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
    To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.?

    • Sylvia Morris says:

      Dear Anna,
      Apparently “fine” appears in early editions of Romeo and Juliet, but every modern editor has altered it to “sin”, assuming it to be merely an error by the compositor who took it from a manuscript. I think we would all agree that “sin” makes much more sense in the context, and Shakespeare is unlikely to have used a word that doesn’t seem right over one that does!
      Hope this helps,
      Sylvia

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