Richard II and Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I was famously supposed to have compared herself to Richard II. We may find that surprising to think of today because she is remembered as Gloriana, a great Queen. However, late in her reign when Richard II was written, this was not that surprising of a comparison. As the Queen aged, eyes started looking … Continue reading Richard II and Elizabeth I

Female Complexity in Taming of the Shrew

In The Taming of the Shrew, we see two sisters pitted against each other. Bianca is a perfect example of feminine virtue. She is obedient, soft-spoken, and studious. Katherine, however, is the exact opposite. She is outspoken, even rude sometimes, about what she wants and thinks. However, if we look more closely at these two … Continue reading Female Complexity in Taming of the Shrew

Taming of the Shrew: Introduction

Understanding the Many Readings of the Play The Taming of the Shrew can be a drastically polarizing play to those who study and perform Shakespeare. Like most of his plays, it can be interpreted in a wide variety of ways, but the two main readings of Shrew are particularly divisive. Some read it as a … Continue reading Taming of the Shrew: Introduction

Introducing King John

Alright, here we go, another history play. King John is one of Shakespeare’s outlier history plays. John was king about 169 years before Edward III. While the play takes some definite liberties with history, it is helpful to know some context before jumping into the plot. Unfortunately, to get a full understanding, we have to … Continue reading Introducing King John

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Peek into Elizabethan Theatre

Occasionally, Shakespeare gives us a glimpse into what life was like in Elizabethan England. A Midsummer Night's Dream may offer a look into what the theatre was like during Shakespeare's time through the dysfunctional group of actors. The few short scenes that feature the actors show us the collaborative nature of the theatre from casting … Continue reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Peek into Elizabethan Theatre

Romeo, Juliet, and the Suicide Discussion

Romeo & Juliet is often a teen's first introduction to Shakespeare. This is a logical decision given that the two protagonists are quintessential teens. It gives the students someone to relate to. However, in recent years we have become more aware of how portraying suicide within the media effects young people suffering from depression. The … Continue reading Romeo, Juliet, and the Suicide Discussion

Language and Intelligence in Love’s Labors Lost

Love's Labors Lost basks in the use and misuse of language by those deemed intellectuals and, to a lesser extent, those deemed unintelligent. At the heart of the play is an examination of the relationship between language and intelligence. By examining how the characters say what they say, along with the meaning, we can see … Continue reading Language and Intelligence in Love’s Labors Lost

Don’t be a Julia, Be a Silvia: Self-respect and relationships in The Two Gentlemen of Verona

As I read through/listened to The Two Gentlemen of Verona, I found myself to be more intrigued by the female characters than I was the male characters. I don't think it's just because I am a woman, and therefore related to them easier. I also don't think it is because Proteus is THE WORST (even … Continue reading Don’t be a Julia, Be a Silvia: Self-respect and relationships in The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Setting Up The War of the Roses

This is a super simplified, super brief overview of the family dynamics that lead to the War of the Roses, which are covered in the Henry VI plays. Edward III's descendants Edward III had several children, but only four sons are of critical importance. The oldest is Edward, the Black Prince. He died before his … Continue reading Setting Up The War of the Roses

Henry VI, Part 1: Act 1, Scenes 4-6

Scene 4 “Father I know, I have oft shot at them,             Howe’er unfortunate, I miss’d my aim” We return to Orleans, where the master gunner is turning over control of his cannon to his son. That gun is trained on a specific gate because he “discovered Salisbury’s habitual use of that gate.” (Asimov, 536) … Continue reading Henry VI, Part 1: Act 1, Scenes 4-6