William Shakespeare (1564-1615)

A brief selection of web sites for William Shakespeare. Because LiteraryHistory.com limits its coverage to the 19th and 20th centuries, with minor coverage of the 18th century. Shakespeare is too early for us. Still, many students search this site for information on Shakespeare, so this page is offered as a very preliminary place to start.

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"Did Shakespeare write the plays and poems attributed to him?" On questions about the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. Folger Shakespeare Library, home of the world’s largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials.

Elliott, Ward E.Y. and Robert J. Valenza. "And Then There Were None: Winnowing the Shakespeare Claimants." A study uses computer analysis to determine if someone else was the author of Shakespeare's plays--although, as the authors note, this is a question that preoccupies the public at large but is not taken seriously by literary scholars. Computers and the Humanities 30, 3 (1996).

"Discover Shakespeare." Shakespeare's Life, Shakespeare's Works, Shakespeare's Theater. Also "Teaching Shakespeare." Folger Shakespeare Library.

"Online Shakespeare Course." Free Harvard lectures on Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest. Lecture videos by Marjorie Garber, Professor of English and American Literature at Harvard, each lasting two hours. Prof. Garber covers "key themes, issues, and interpretations of the plays, focusing on questions of genre, gender, politics, family relations, silence and speech, and cultural power from both above and below (royalty, nobility, and the court; clowns and fools)." Harvard Univ.

"Learn About Shakespeare." Outline of Shakespeare's Life, Shakespeare's Stratford, Shakespeare at School, Shakespeare's Authorship, What Did Shakespeare Look Like? Plots of Shakespeare's Plays, Study Materials. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Internet Shakespeare Editions. Editor Michael Best. Introduction to Shakespeare's life, plays, historical events in his plays, the society, ideas, and literature of his time. Also text, editions, book facsimiles, ferformances, and artifacts for his plays. University of Victoria.

"William Shakespeare." A brief introduction to Shakespeare. Academy of American Poets.

"A Deeper Consideration." Poetry Foundation.

"William Shakespeare." Literary Encyclopedia. Eds. Robert Clark, Emory Elliott, Janet Todd. An introduction to the poet, from a database that provides signed literary criticism by experts in their field, and is available to individuals for a reasonably-priced subscription [subscription service].

The peer-reviewed journal Early Modern Literary Studies contains scholarly reviews of performances and plays and literary criticism. The journal has been open access for many years and has a search engine. A search on Macbeth, for example, produced 147 results.

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