Category Archives: Sources

Ovid and Shakespeare: the world’s greatest storytellers

Anyone who’s interested in Shakespeare will have heard the name Ovid, but how much do we really know about him? I’ve written a couple of posts on Ovid myself, but I have never really investigated the story of this great … 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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Celebrating Ovid 2000 years on

2017 marks the 2000th anniversary of the death of the Roman writer Ovid, whose  Metamorphoses has continued to be one of the most influential of literary works. As Shakespeare’s favourite writer, the RSC, and its current Artistic Director Gregory Doran … Continue reading

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Winter stories at Charlecote

December isn’t the coldest month of the year, but it’s the darkest, with days getting progressively shorter most of the month. Earlier this week I visited Charlecote Park, the stately home near Stratford-upon-Avon, and couldn’t help thinking how much the lack … Continue reading

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Reporting War

On Saturday October 3rd the RSC is holding the latest in its series of debates on subjects raised by plays in its repertoire, Reporting War: Whose Truth is Told? The debate specifically accompanies the RSC’s new production of Hecuba, Marina … Continue reading

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Last call for Magna Carta at the British Library

2015 has been the eight-hundredth anniversary of the great document Magna Carta, one of the world’s most famous documents, which is still controversial. Is it, as the British Library’s website asks, the “foundation of democracy or rallying cry for modern … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and the Book of Common Prayer

On Radio 4 on 26 August 2015 Quentin Letts asked “What’s the point of the Book of Common Prayer?” This little book, written by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, was originally published in 1549 during the brief but emphatically protestant reign of King Edward … Continue reading

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Keeping up with Shakespeare events in London and Stratford

It’s the middle of May, and debates and discussions with Shakespeare-related themes are happening everywhere. I’ve only just realised that several of these are happening now, so if you want to catch up with ideas about Shakespeare’s relationship to cultural … Continue reading

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Sir Walter Ralegh and the vagaries of politics

I’m writing this post on the day of the General Election, 7 May 2015, and by the time you read it most of the results will be in. All the indications are that there will be no clear winner, leading … Continue reading

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Still looking for the truth about Richard III: who did kill the princes in the tower?

Like many thousands of others I visited Leicester on Monday 23 March 2015 to file past the coffined remains of Richard III before they are reinterred in the Cathedral on Thursday. People waited up to four hours, and many in … Continue reading

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