Getting To Know Shakespeare Webinar

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On Monday this week I hosted a webinar, Getting to Know Shakespeare, with Professor Ewan Fernie of The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. The recording is now available.

We took the title of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s new course, Getting to Know Shakespeare and used it to reflect a little on how we first got to know Shakespeare. How did we first encounter the works? What was Shakespeare for us in our early imaginations and how has this helped to shape how we understand and enjoy Shakespeare today?

The discussion touches on the different kinds of Shakespeare we might encounter and considers Shakespeare as important source of inspiration for later writers, notable John Keats and Charles Dickens. And we discuss, too, how Shakespeare is introduced to people in schools.

The webinar attracted an international audience including attendees from Argentina, the Philippinnes, Sweden, Finland, the United States, the United Kingdom, and many more…

You can listen and watch the webinar here

Hope you enjoy it, and let us know what you think.

How did you first get to know Shakespeare?

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Author:Paul Edmondson

Head of Research and Knowledge and Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival for The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Follow Paul on Twitter @paul_edmondson
  • William Ray

    Thank you for the mini-seminars on Shakespeare.  Could someone explain to me the reason for the 1850 begin- date for doubting the authorship of Stratford Will?  I was under the impression that there was a controversy as soon as Venus and Adonis came out in print. (1593) Gabriel Harvey made reference to “that fair body of the sweetest Venus in print [V&A] as it is redoubtably armed with the complete harness of the bravest Minerva” (Minerva/Athena known to Elizabethans as the Spear Shaker). Harvey had previously referred to Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford as a spear shaker, in 1579, when he encouraged him to lead in military thought, not letters.  Then (1597) John Marston traded remarks with Joseph Hall, Marston saying that “Labeo” (i.e., a Roman who hid his work behind another name) was writing erotic poetry. [Venus and Adonis being considered erotic] Was Shakespeare hiding behind another name? Or who?  Marston guessed Bacon was the writer hiding.  This appears to be a much earlier controversy about the identity of Shakespeare the writer of Venus and Adonis than 1850.  I wonder if someone would address this contradiction.

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