Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. While Great Britain, never a slouch in the “can we find some anniversary celebration to draw tourists” department, has all kinds of recognitions and celebrations underway in Stratford-on-Avon as well as the rest of the country, the United States is mounting its own extensive series of Shakespeare festivities.
And the bard would likely smile to know he’s become a hashtag on Twitter: #Shakespeare400.

“@RomeoMontague: Hark! What tweet through yon window breaks? It is the moon, and @JulietCapulet is the sun. #Shakespeare400”

And the books. And calendars. And desk diaries. For those of us who might have been worried about the demise of Shakespeare in high school and college English curriculums, a simple search on Amazon for “Shakespeare 2016” is reassuring.

One of the best recently published books on Shakespeare has less to do with the quadricentennial celebration and more to do with what happened a little less than 400 years ago – 1606 to be precise. The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 by James Shapiro, the Larry Miller Professor of English at Columbia University, is a wonder of re-creation of that year in Shakespeare life.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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