Author Archives: Sylvia Morris

Shakespeare: Print and Performance

For many years, even centuries, there was a huge divide between Shakespeare’s plays as they were performed and how they appeared in print. Scholars wrestled with the numerous different editions of the plays issued in the early modern period, trying … Continue reading

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A German Hamlet: Fratricide Punished

There are many unanswered questions regarding Shakespeare’s plays, many of which relate to Hamlet, Shakespeare’s best-known play. The German Der Bestrafte Brudemord, known in English as Fratricide Punished, is one of the earliest known versions of Hamlet in a foreign … Continue reading

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Influences on Shakespeare

The source books from which Shakespeare took the main stories of his plays are well-known, sometimes so important that he quoted almost word for word, as in Enobarbus’s description of Cleopatra from Plutarch’s Lives. Other sources seem to have been … Continue reading

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Fulke Greville, a great Elizabethan

On 30 September 1628, Fulke Greville died, just days before his 74th birthday. He had lived a remarkable life, that ended dramatically after being stabbed by a servant who supposedly felt cheated after being left out of his master’s will. … Continue reading

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What did Shakespeare look like? From Upstart Crow to statues in bronze

We’re surrounded by images of Shakespeare, yet it’s often said that we don’t really know what he looked like. I’ve been greatly enjoying the TV comedy series Upstart Crow, written by Ben Elton whose brilliant scripts for Blackadder back in … Continue reading

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Thomas Nashe and the end of Summer

Now the autumn equinox has passed summer is really over and it’s fitting that the boy players of Shakespeare’s School, Edward’s Boys, are performing Thomas Nashe’s play Summer’s Last Will and Testament at the end of September 2017. The play … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s Warwick

I recently went on a tour of one of Warwick’s most ancient buildings, the Collegiate Church of St Mary. As we were taken round, our guide pointed out memorials that made me wonder about the impact this town and its … Continue reading

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Securing Shakespeare’s Birthplace for the nation and the world

16 September 1847 is a date that all those interested in Shakespeare should know. On that date an auction was held at the Auction Mart in London at which Shakespeare’s birthplace, described on the sale poster as “The Truly Heart-stirring … Continue reading

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Peter Hall and Shakespeare

On 15 September 2017 theatres in the West End of London and on Broadway will dim their lights in memory of Sir Peter Hall whose death, aged 86, was announced on 12 September. This has become a recognised tribute to … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s Cleopatra

I recently attended a performance of Antony and Cleopatra at the RSC. Watching Josette Simon playing the Queen of Egypt, I couldn’t help thinking of others I’ve seen in the part, and wondering why it’s such a difficult one. Surely … Continue reading

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