show episodes
 
Theatre professionals, artists, vloggers and other guests from around the world join resident Shakespeare Birthplace Trust experts Paul and Anjna to discuss Shakespeare's place in the 21st century. We hear about their relationships with Shakespeare in the modern world and take a fresh look at Shakespeare in today's society.
 
The Play's the Thing is the ultimate podcast resource for lovers of Shakespeare. Dedicating six episodes to each play (one per act, plus a Q&A episode), this podcast explores the themes, scenes, characters, and lines that make Shakespeare so memorable. In the end, we will cover every play The Bard wrote, thus permitting an ongoing contemplation and celebration of the most important writer of all time. Join us. The Play’s the Thing is presented by The CiRCE Podcast Network. See acast.com/priv ...
 
Was the name signed to the world's most famous plays and poems a pseudonym? Was the man from Stratford that history attributed the work to even capable of writing them? Who was Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, and is there any chance he was the actual author of those legendary works? Who WAS the writer behind the pen name "William Shakespeare?" Join Steven Sabel of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship as he and his fellow Oxfordians set out to answer all of those questions and many more on ...
 
Henry VI, Part 1 is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1591, and set during the lifetime of King Henry VI of England. Whereas 2 Henry VI deals with the King's inability to quell the bickering of his nobles, and the inevitability of armed conflict, and 3 Henry VI deals with the horrors of that conflict, 1 Henry VI deals with the loss of England's French territories and the political machinations leading up to the Wars of the Roses, as the English political ...
 
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, Claudius's brother and Prince Hamlet's father, and then succeeding to the throne and taking as his wife Gertrude, the old king's widow and Prince Hamlet's mother. The play vividly portrays both true and feigned madness – from overwhelming grief to seething rage – and explores themes o ...
 
This is truly a delightful compilation of some of the best known and loved passages from William Shakespeare's plays. Most readers would be familiar with all or at least some of them. If you've studied Shakespeare in school or college, plays like The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth were probably assigned texts. However, if you haven't encountered these plays before, Shakespeare Monologues is a great volume to browse through and enjoy at leisure. It's important to know that there is a distinct ...
 
Shakespeare's Sonnets, or simply The Sonnets, comprise a collection of 154 poems in sonnet form written by William Shakespeare that deal with such themes as love, beauty, politics, and mortality. The poems were probably written over a period of several years. (Summary from wikipedia)
 
This is Shakespeare's dutiful tribute to one of the most imposing and terrifying rulers in European history. The kingdom trembles as the giant monarch storms through his midlife crisis, disposing of the faithful Katharine of Aragon and starting a new life and, the king hopes, a line of succession with the captivating young Anne Bullen. Unlike his predecessors, Henry has no doubt about the security of his tenure on the throne, and dominates the royal court with absolute authority. The extent ...
 
LibriVox readers present the second collection of monologues from Shakespeare’s plays. Containing 15 parts. William Shakespeare (April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) remains widely to be considered the single greatest playwright of all time. He wrote in such a variety of genres - tragedy, comedy, romance, &c - that there is always at least one monologue in each of his plays. Some of these teach a lesson, some simply characterize Shakespeare at his best, some are funny, some sad, but all are very ...
 
LibriVox readers present the fourth collection of monologues from Shakespeare’s plays. Containing 20 parts. William Shakespeare (April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) remains widely to be considered the single greatest playwright of all time. He wrote in such a variety of genres - tragedy, comedy, romance, &c - that there is always at least one monologue in each of his plays. Some of these teach a lesson, some simply characterize Shakespeare at his best, some are funny, some sad, but all are very ...
 
LibriVox readers present the fifth collection of monologues from Shakespeare’s plays. Containing 20 parts. William Shakespeare (April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) remains widely to be considered the single greatest playwright of all time. He wrote in such a variety of genres - tragedy, comedy, romance, &c - that there is always at least one monologue in each of his plays. Some of these teach a lesson, some simply characterize Shakespeare at his best, some are funny, some sad, but all are very ...
 
William Shakespeare (April 26, 1564 – April 23, 1616) remains widely to be considered the single greatest playwright of all time. He wrote in such a variety of genres - tragedy, comedy, romance, &c - that there is always at least one monologue in each of his plays. Some of these teach a lesson, some simply characterize Shakespeare at his best, some are funny, some sad, but all are very moving. Each monologue will touch everybody differently. Some people will be so moved by a particular monol ...
 
Despite its optimistic title, Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well has often been considered a "problem play." Ostensibly a comedy, the play also has fairy tale elements, as it focuses on Helena, a virtuous orphan, who loves Bertram, the haughty son of her protectress, the Countess of Rousillon. When Bertram, desperate for adventure, leaves Rousillon to serve in the King's army, Helena pursues him.
 
This personal anthology is my choice of speeches from Shakespeare that I enjoy reading (that I would like to have had by heart years ago!) and that seem to me to illustrate his unsurpassed use of language. He was a man who seemed to know everything about human nature and as Orson Welles said ‘he speaks to everyone and we all claim him’. I know that it has been said that ‘it is impossible to be a great Shakespearian actor without an idiosyncratic and extraordinary voice’ and this may be so, b ...
 
Shakespeare's pastoral comedy was written and first performed around 1599, and presents some of his familiar motifs: a cross-dressing heroine, a wise-cracking fool, brothers usurping their brothers' power, a journey from the court to the country, and various romantic entanglements. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett)CastOrlando: Arielle LipshawAdam/Hymen: Kevin GreenOliver/Le Beau/First Lord/First Page: ToddTouchstone/Dennis/First Lord/Forester: KristingjCharles/Second Lord/Jaques de Boys: Algy Pug ...
 
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, Claudius's brother and Prince Hamlet's father, and then succeeding to the throne and taking as his wife Gertrude, the old king's widow and Prince Hamlet's mother. The play vividly portrays both true and feigned madness – from overwhelming grief to seething rage – and explores themes o ...
 
Two households, both alike in dignity,In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.From forth the fatal loins of these two foesA pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;Whose misadventured piteous overthrowsDo with their death bury their parents' strife.(Summary from the Prologue)Cast:Narrator: Laurie Anne WaldenRomeo: mbJuliet: Beth ThomasNurse: Arielle LipshawFriar Laurence: Denny SayersMercutio: Eden Rea-Hed ...
 
The play features three interlocking plots, connected by a celebration of the wedding of Theseus of Athens and the Amazon queen, Hippolyta, which is set simultaneously in the woodland and in the realm of Fairyland, under the light of the moon. (Summary by Wikipedia) Theseus: Dave NicolEgeus: James SilversteinLysander: Peter ParshallDemetrius: Alex LauPhilostrate/Puck: ElleyKatPeter Quince/Prologue: Libby GohnSnug/Lion: Monika M.C.Nick Bottom/Pyramus: Alan MapstoneFrancis Flute/Thisby: Chuck ...
 
The Passionate Pilgrim was published by William Jaggard, later the publisher of Shakespeare's First Folio. The first edition survives only in a single fragmentary copy; its date cannot be fixed with certainty since its title page is missing, though many scholars judge it likely to be from 1599, the year the second edition appeared with the attribution to Shakespeare.This version of The Passionate Pilgrim, contains 15 romantic sonnets and short poems. The works contained, while disputed as to ...
 
Generally considered one of Shakespeare's problem plays, Measure for Measure examines the ideas of sin and justice. Duke Vincentio turns Vienna's rule over to the corrupt Angelo, who sentences Claudio to death for having impregnated a woman before marriage. His sister Isabella, a novice nun, pleads for her brother's life, only to be told that he will be spared if she agrees to relinquish her virginity to Angelo. (Summary by wildemoose) Cast: Abhorson: John D. Nugent Angelo: Roger Clifton Bar ...
 
Cymbeline is one of Shakespeare's late romances, which (like The Tempest and The Winter's Tale) combines comedy and tragedy. Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline of Britain, angers her father when she marries Posthumus, a worthy but penniless gentleman. The King banishes Posthumus, who goes to Rome, where he falls prey to the machinations of Iachimo, who tries to convince him that Imogen will be unfaithful. Meanwhile, the Queen (Imogen's stepmother) plots against her stepdaughter by trying ...
 
Romeo and Juliet is perhaps the most famous of Shakespeare’s plays and is thought to be the most famous love story in Western history. It concerns the fate of two very young lovers who would do anything to be together. The Montagues and the Capulets of Verona, Italy, are in the midst of a long-standing feud when Romeo Montague drops in on a masquerade party at the Capulets’. While there he meets and woos the daughter of the house, Juliet. She likewise returns his passion, and their secret me ...
 
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, Claudius's brother and Prince Hamlet's father, and then succeeding to the throne and taking as his wife Gertrude, the old king's widow and Prince Hamlet's mother. The play vividly portrays both true and feigned madness – from overwhelming grief to seething rage – and explores themes o ...
 
Shakespeare was passionately interested in the history of Rome, as is evident from plays like Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra. His tragedy Coriolanus was probably written around 1605-07, and dramatizes the rise and fall of a great Roman general, Caius Martius (later surnamed Coriolanus because of his military victory at Corioli). This play is unusual in that it provides a strong voice for the ordinary citizens of Rome, who begin the play rioting about the high price ...
 
Written around the middle of his career, Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare's great festive comedies. The men are back from the war, and everyone is ready for romance. The dashing young Claudio falls for Hero, the daughter of Leonato, governor of Messina, and his friend Don Pedro helps him secure her affection. These youthful lovers are contrasted with the more experienced (and more cynical) Benedick and Beatrice, who have to be tricked into falling in love. Don Pedro's bastard bro ...
 
Cymbeline is one of Shakespeare's late romances, which (like The Tempest and The Winter's Tale) combines comedy and tragedy. Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline of Britain, angers her father when she marries Posthumus, a worthy but penniless gentleman. The King banishes Posthumus, who goes to Rome, where he falls prey to the machinations of Iachimo, who tries to convince him that Imogen will be unfaithful. Meanwhile, the Queen (Imogen's stepmother) plots against her stepdaughter by trying ...
 
Troilus and Cressida is Shakespeare's "problem" play about the Trojan War. As the opening Chorus tells us, the play "begins in the middle" of the epic conflict, and counterpoints the drama of battle with the romance of the title characters. Just as Agamemnon and his Greek forces (particularly the smooth-tongued Ulysses) attempt to woo the invincible Achilles to resume fighting on their side, the Trojan go-between Pandarus tries to bring together Troilus, a son of King Priam, with his niece, ...
 
The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy by William Shakespeare, first published in 1602, though believed to have been written prior to 1597. It features the fat knight Sir John Falstaff, and is Shakespeare's only play to deal exclusively with contemporary Elizabethan era English middle class life. (Summary by Wikipedia)Cast:Anne Page, Mistress Page's daughter: Elizabeth BarrBardolph, sharper attending on Falstaff: AlanDoctor Caius, a French physician: Marty KrisFalstaff: Mark F. SmithFenton, ...
 
After the turmoil and uncertainty of Henry IV a new era appears to dawn for England with the accession of the eponymous Henry V. In this sunny pageant, the Chorus guides us along Henry's glittering carpet ride of success as the new king completes his transformation from rebellious wastrel to a truly regal potentate. Of course, there is an underlying feeling that the good times won't last, and this is all the more reason to enjoy the Indian summer before the protracted and bitter fall of the ...
 
Written around the middle of his career, Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare's great festive comedies. The men are back from the war, and everyone is ready for romance. The dashing young Claudio falls for Hero, the daughter of Leonato, governor of Messina, and his friend Don Pedro helps him secure her affection. These youthful lovers are contrasted with the more experienced (and more cynical) Benedick and Beatrice, who have to be tricked into falling in love. Don Pedro's bastard bro ...
 
Murder and madness, witches and war: Librivox presents a recording of Macbeth, perhaps Shakespeare's best known tragedy. Macbeth, a general in King Duncan's army, is given a prophecy by a trio of witches: he himself will become king. Fired by ambition and goaded by his ruthless wife, he murders Duncan and assumes the throne. More killings follow as Macbeth attempts to retain his crown, until he discovers that prophecies are not always what they seem. (Summary by Laurie Anne Walden) Cast: Dun ...
 
Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607. It was first printed in the First Folio of 1623. The plot is based on Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Life of Marcus Antonius and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Parthian War to Cleopatra's suicide. The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar, one of Antony's fellow triumviri and the future first emperor of Rome. The trag ...
 
The Two Noble Kinsmen is a Jacobean tragicomedy co-written by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, first published in 1634. Set in ancient Greece during a war between Athens and Thebes, the narrative follows the title characters, Palamon and Arcite, noble youths whose friendship is destroyed by their mutual love for the beautiful Emilia. The subplot deals with the love and eventual madness of the Gaoler's Daughter, who falls hopelessly in love with Palamon. The play is based on "The Knight ...
 
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Alack, what poverty my Muse brings forth, That having such a scope to show her pride, The argument all bare is of more worth Than when it hath my added praise beside. O, blame me not if I no more can write! Look in your glass, and there appears a face That overgoes my blunt invention quite, Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace. Were it not sinfu…
 
Steven welcomes William Boyle, retired librarian and founder of the New England Shakespeare Oxford Library, to discuss his 40-year history with Oxfordianism and why the controversial Prince Tudor theory of Shakespeare authorship continues to intrigue many who are interested in the Shakespeare Authorship Question and its history dating back to the 1…
 
There has been a bridge over the river Thames since the time of the Romans and the reign of Aethelred II, when the bridge was designed as a Saxon defense against the Danish. Since then, there have been at least 5 bridges either built, or repairs made to the predecessor, which have occupied the crossing of the Thames at London Bridge. The original s…
 
Join Tim and Heidi as they discuss medieval courts intrigue, Richard's marriage, his psychological identity, and what makes a king a king. They also engage in a bit of a Team Richard vs Team Bolingbroke smackdown. The Play's the Thing is produced by Goldberry Studios for the CiRCE Podcast Network. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out infor…
 
Troilus and Cressida is one of Shakespeare's least popular, least performed plays, and there are a multitude of reasons why that might be. None of the characters are particularly likeable. The various plots are mercenary, cruel, and violent. And it's certainly not the easiest play to classify, and it has baffled scholars since Shakespearean scholar…
 
When medieval cartographers drew maps of the world they included mermaids among the fantastic ocean beasts that they believed roamed the waters of foreign lands. Professional explorers like Henry Hudson in 1608, described sighting a mermaid in the NOrthern Atlantic ocean, describing how the mermaid called to the men on his ship. Philosophers, physi…
 
My love is strength'ned, though more weak in seeming, I love not less, though less the show appear; That love is merchandiz'd whose rich esteeming The owner's tongue doth publish every where. Our love was new, and then but in the spring, When I was wont to greet it with my lays, As Philomel in summer's front doth sing, And stops her pipe in growth …
 
Steven welcomes back Dorothea Dickerman to discuss the major romantic relationships in Edward de Vere's life, how they are reflected in the Shakespeare canon, and how they shaped the early feminism found in the works. Support the show by picking up official Don't Quill the Messenger merchandise at www.dontquillthepodcast.com Presented by the Shakes…
 
The most memorable illustration of Robert Greene shows him dressed as an ear of corn, sitting at a desk, penning Groatsworth of Wit, his famous deathbed insult that calls William Shakespeare an “upstart crow.” That upstart crow may have gone on to eclipse Robert Greene’s fame in posterity, but for the moment in which those lines were written about …
 
O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy'd? Both truth and beauty on my love depends; So dost thou too, and therein dignified. Make answer, Muse, wilt thou not haply say, "Truth needs no color with his color fix'd, Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay; But best is best, if never intermix'd"? Because he needs …
 
Shakespeare uses the word “beard” in his plays over one hundred times, and almost always as a way to indicate a man’s status, power, or authority. In Anthony and Cleopatra Caesar is referred to as “scarce bearded” as a slight against him by Cleopatra, several times the phrase “by my beard” is used in plays like Alls Well That Ends Well, as an oath,…
 
Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget'st so long To speak of that which gives thee all thy might? Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song, Dark'ning thy pow'r to lend base subjects light? Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem In gentle numbers time so idly spent; Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem, And gives thy pen both skill a…
 
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