William Shakespeare Archive

A Woman’s Conviction in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and 500 Days of Summer

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Summer, Helena, and Hermia hold fast to their own definitions of love, even in the face of men who refuse and ignore them.

Death and Remembrance in Hamnet

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Maggie O’Farrell’s 2020 novel shows the painful reality that transformation and remembrance go hand in hand. This isn’t comforting—how can it be?—but to remember, to practice remembrance daily, shapes a person.

A Trick of the Light

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Macbeth’s failures are failures to understand the interplay of perspective and perception in interpretation.

Prospero the Homeschool Teacher

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Even to an erudite mage like Shakespeare’s Prospero, Miranda’s mind is mysterious and powerful, her memory evocative of her individual, autonomous character. He’s done his best to teach her, despite the circumstances, but no teacher can say with certainty what a student will remember and what will be forgotten.

Watching King Lear on Zoom

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Technology (whether we mean social networking, video conferencing, virtual reality, or even language itself) can be both perilous and liberating, an architect of intimacy and an architect of loneliness too.

Shakespeare’s Scheming Women

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Before Lady Macbeth took center stage as Shakespeare’s leading femme fatale, the bard experimented with a number of scheming women, most notably in his first works: the trio of history plays covering the tumultuous reign of Henry VI.

Fiction Responding to Fiction: Nunez, Rushdie, and Seidlinger

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The writers discussed the many ways in which fiction can respond to fiction. Of particular note was the impetus for using a particular source text—what inspired the response—and the extent to which a retelling can or should stand on its own without an intimate knowledge of the original.

Round-Down: Historical Underpinnings of Continual Sexism in Publishing

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  Writer Catherine Nichols’ recent experiment, in which she submitted a manuscript to agents under a male pseudonym and received eight-and-a-half times the number of responses that the same manuscript received under her real name, confirms a gender bias in publishing that desperately needs addressing. Nichols is not without precedent in