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The World of Shakespeare  

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

                              -- Jacques, As You Like It, Act 2 Scene 7


Life and Times

Databases & Journals




Library Resources

Shakespeare at Work


"Absolute Shakespeare is primarily a site containing an authoritative text of the complete poetry and plays of Shakespeare. However, the site also carries information about the Bard's life, teaching resources, a search engine tailored for finding quotes, images related to Shakespeare and his time, information about and links to the Globe Theatre, bibliographies, and a list of film adaptations. With plot summaries, essays and character analyses, Absolute Shakespeare is a very helpful site for both teachers and students of Shakespeare." Stuart Allen, The Humbul Humanities Hub.

Academic Info: English Literature: William Shakespeare Shakespeare links from an outstanding academic web directory.

BBC: History: In Search of Shakespeare "This Web site is the BBCi History Web site which accompanies Michael Wood's recent BBC series entitled In Search of Shakespeare. It also features related articles, details and extra historical context which shed further light on the writings of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), and the period in which he lived. There are informative essays by leading historians such as: Andrew Pettegree; Simon Adams; and Alexandra Briscoe. Discussion also focuses on the last years of the Tudor dynasty, and its turbulent religious life. The series raised the often overlooked aspect of secret Roman Catholicism (recusancy) on the life and works of Shakespeare and discussed the identity of the mysterious 'Dark Lady'. Since there is little documentation extant on the great bard, there is much speculation about his personal and religious life. An interesting and thoughtful site with much material for those studying Shakespeare at all levels." Wanda Wyporska, The Humbul Humanities Hub.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Extensive, searchable guide to Shakespeare's works. Includes alphabetical and chronological indexes, a comprehensive glossary, and links to other Shakespeare resources.

Encyclopedia Britannica's The Globe Theatre: an extensive look at the life and times of Shakespeare. The site contains more than 500 articles and essays, which are illustrated with more than 200 photographs, drawings, and maps, as well as several dozen audio and video recordings.

Folger Shakespeare Library, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC., is home " to the world’s largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials and to major collections of other rare Renaissance books, manuscripts, and works of art, the Folger serves a wide audience of researchers, visitors, teachers, students, families, and theater- and concert-goers." We suggest that you start with The Discover Shakespeare section.

Furness Collection "The Furness Shakespeare Web page is a University of Pennsylvania site containing facsimile reproductions of important texts from the Renaissance. The texts have been beautifully digitised, and many well-known authors are represented, as well as some more obscure ones: Donne, Shakespeare, Behn, Mosse, Pope, Stow, for example. The site also contains the English Renaissance in Context project (ERIC), which gives students access to Renaissance texts in their orginal form, as well as offering multi-media tutorials on a number of Shakespeare's plays (including Romeo and Juliet and King Lear)." Stuart Allen, The Humbul Humanities Hub.

The Interactive Shakespeare Project
"This is the website for the Interactive Shakespeare Project, which is a multidisciplinary initiative based at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachussets in the United States. The project has produced a prototype interactive study guide to William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. The study guide provides text, video and audio material, as well as study prompts and classroom exercises. The study prompts appear in the form of hypertext links to questions on specific words and phrases in the play. The questions appear in text boxes alongside the dialogue, so that it is always possible to keep each passage in context. There are online essays relating to Measure for Measure, on topics such as marriage, prostitution and the performance history of the play. An archive of reviews of notable productions of the play is one of the many features of this site which would be of interest to those working on the stage history of Shakespearean drama." Sarah Watson, The Humbul Humanities Hub.

Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE) "This web site aims to provide online access to scholarly editions of the plays of William Shakespeare. The site gives access to old-spelling texts of the Quartos and the early Folios, including texts of plays which are no longer generally attributed to William Shakespeare. The advantage of this is that it facilitates comparisons between different editions for scholars engaged in textual study. The Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE) are organized using the central metaphor of a library: there is a Foyer, the Library itself, a Theatre, and an Annex for more informal discussion. The Library, the place for fully refereed materials only, currently contains the textual and graphical material which can be found on Michael Best's CD-ROM 'Shakespeare's Life and Times', although it will in time contain the texts of the plays, with commentary, electronic versions of the originals, supporting critical materials, editions of Renaissance works of relevance to Shakespeare studies, and theatrical and performance archives. The Theatre section will contain a growing number of performance records, including still and moving images and sound, and the Annex currently houses transcriptions of a number of folio and quarto texts, and some articles on electronic editions. As it becomes possible to freely search sophisticatedly marked-up texts using an Internet browser, the project will migrate texts marked up in SGML to the Web site. The site also contains useful discussions of the principles of encoding electronic texts. There is a gateway to Internet sites on Shakespeare and the Renaissance. All sites reached from this page have been evaluated, and recommended sites are signalled with the ISE logo of the swan; outstanding sites receive two swans." Sarah Watson, The Humbul Humanities Hub.

Luminarium "The beautiful crafted and highly useful "Luminarium", created and edited by Anniina Jokinen, is an excellent resource for all students of early English literature and literary history as well as the allied subjects of history, religious studies and philosophy. Built around the image of a triptych, the site offers three different collections of literary works from the later middle ages to the 17th century: The first section, an "Anthology of Middle English Literature (1350 – 1485)", includes the writings of Chaucer, Margery Kempe and Julian of Nowich as well as an assortment of plays and lyrical works. The second grouping is of 16th Century Renaissance literature (1485-1603) and contains the works of such recognizable authors as More, Spenser, Hooker, Marlowe, Gascoigne and, of course, Shakespeare. The final series covers the early 17th Century until 1660 and once again offers a substantial number of works from Bacon, Donne, Lovelace, and Cowley just to name a few. As the texts are housed both within the pages of Luminarium and off-site at a variety of electronic repositories, many of these works can be found through other Internet gateways. However, the real advantage of using Luminarium as your starting point for early English literature, particularly for the undergraduate user, is that Ms. Jokinen has spent considerable effort in gathering and posting articles, citations and essays (both student and professional) for each of the 70 plus authors. The images and striking web-design that accompany these secondary resources not only make this site a literary feast, but a visual one as well." Jeff Dubberley, The Humbul Humanities Hub.

Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet "The Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet website is an extensive collections of internet sources in many avenues of Shakespeare study. The author of the website has annotated the collection and added information where necessary. Within the collection you can find the contents of Shakespeare's First Folio including 'The Tempest', 'Midsommers Night Dreame', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Hamlet', and 'King Lear'. There are links to biographical writings on Shakespeare by eighteenth-century writers, such as Ben Jonson, Leonard Digges and James Mabbe. If you are looking for samples of Shakespear's handwriting, there are digital copies of original Shakespeare documents such as his will. This website would be a good place to begin internet research on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan period." Melissa Golinski, The Humbul Humanities Hub.

The Plays of William Shakespeare
The Electronic Literature Foundation's presentation of the Plays of William Shakespeare. Select the play you are interested in below. Each play has its own search engine, concordance, quotes, and other information.

Shakespeare in American Life
"This website was developed as both a lasting online resource and a companion project for Shakespeare in American Life, a radio documentary produced by Richard Paul and narrated by Sam Waterston, airing on Public Radio International (PRI) stations beginning in April 2007. The project also benefited greatly from the 2007 Folger Shakespeare in American Life exhibition and related catalog. Launch your own exploration of Shakespeare in American life through these unique features—from an interactive timeline that spans four centuries, to the works of art in our American Shakespeare Gallery, to the quips, insights, and comments of Americans who were “speaking of Shakespeare.” Download a screensaver or wallpaper to customize your desktop, or weigh in with your own projects in Shakespeare in Your Life. Try the FAQs to learn more about Shakespeare in American life. To find Shakespeare theaters, festivals, and other destinations throughout the United States, explore the clickable maps in Shakespeare USA."

Sh:in:E - Shakespeare in European Culture - Criticism, Research Material, Sources, Uses and Adaptations
"This is a project of the English Department of the University of Basel. Essentially a meta-site, Sh:in:E contains an impressive range of links to texts, criticism, related and background information. For example, there is an index of directors of shakespeare; information about early editors of Shakespeare; basic informaton about the playwright's oeuvre; information about adaptations for film, music, stage; the authorship debate; translations. Perhaps of most interest to scholars is the section detailing the influence of Shakespeare on his European contemporaries." Stuart Allen, The Humbul Humanities Hub.

Shake Sphere (Formerly Known as The Complete Shakespeare) has been rated an A+ site by Web English Teacher in the U.S. Shake Sphere has also been recommended by the BBC, the UK SchoolsNet, The University of Birmingham, The British Library, The Carolinian Shakespeare Festival, The University of Pennsylvania, Universal Teacher (UK), and The National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis. Shake Sphere is maintained as a public service by Michael J. Cummings, a freelance writer and former college instructor in Williamsport, Pa., USA.

  • Biography of Shakespeare (5,300-word biography (with in-text documentation) on the private and public lives of Shakespeare).

  • Critical Essays

  • Globe Theater Description, location, builders, actors, owners, motto....

  • Stage Directions, Drama Terms. Definitions of alarum, aside, exeunt, exit, fair copy, foul papers, flourish, induction, master of revels, prologue, stationers' register, and other playwrighting terms.

  • Shakespeare's Four Writing Periods. Discussion and analysis of the Early, Balanced, Overflowing, and Final Periods.

  • How Shakespeare Prepared Manuscripts. Writing tools, illumination, manuscript preparation, word choice, censorship, prompt copy, printing and registration, editing, pirated plays, texts...

  • Blank Verse and Iambic Pentameter. Explanation of the verse form of Shakespeare's plays and poems.

  • Explanation of Folio and Quarto Texts. Definitions and descriptions of these printing terms.

  • Rules governing the use of Shakespearean pronouns.

  • Shakespeare Productions in the Modern Era. The story of Harley Granville-Barker, the actor and producer who rescued Shakespeare from the overblown productions of the 19th Century and laid the foundations for modern interpretations of the plays....

  • Literary Terms, including Figures of Speech and much more...

Shakespeare Illustrated
"The website Shakespeare Illustrated has been developed by Harry Rusche at Emory University. The project explores nineteenth century interpretations of the plays of William Shakespeare, with particular emphasis on the painting, criticism and performance of the period. The site can be searched through an alphabetical list of plays. Under each title, there is a list of images available online. These images include depictions of notable Shakespearean actors such as Ellen Terry and also key scenes from each of the plays. This section of the site also features some nineteenth century depictions of the life of Shakespeare. These images have been fully annotated by Harry Rusche. There is a complete bibliography of works cited on the Shakespeare Illustrated site. The website also allows users to search for specific images using the alphabetical list of artists. This is an excellent resource for those interested in the nineteenth century reception of Shakespeare." Sarah Watson, The Humbul Humanities Hub.

Shakespeare Online "The Shakespeare Online site has been developed by Amanda Mabillard. The site contains an extensive range of material for the study of Shakespeare. Most of the plays and poems are available online, though unfortunately no information is given about on which edition they might be based. The site includes extended essays (analyses) for a selection of plays (e.g. Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, Richard III). Essays found elsewhere on the Web have been compiled and sorted by work. Other sections include: short articles outlining possible sources for Shakespeare's plays; a short biography for Shakespeare; an essay on Shakespeare's theatres; a series of 'frequently-asked questions'; and a gateway of annotated links." Michael Fraser, The Humbul Humanities Hub.

The Shakespeare Resource Center "The Shakespeare Resource Center is a comprehensive source of information on the works of William Shakespeare, 'the most written-about author in the history of Western civilization'. The site offers bibliographic information about the Bard; a historical look at Elizabethan England; an overview of the four major periods of Shakespeare’s works; synopses of his plays; an overview of the authorship debate that has been going since the 1700s; Shakespeare’s language; collected links from all over the World Wide Web; and a bibliographical list of printed materials. The site is clearly and lucidly organised and offers rich and varied information. It will be of use both to the student and the general reader, as it provides a very good overview of Shakespeare’s life and work, as well as a starting point for further research." Emilia Slavova, The Humbul Humanities Hub.

Shakespeare: Subject to Change
Cable in the Classroom has created a unique multimedia online exploration of variations in Shakespeare. It explores the printing process of Shakespeare's plays and variations in performances of his plays. Michael LoMonico, editor of Shakespeare Magazine, served as chief consultant to the project, and key resources were secured through agreements with The Folger Shakespeare Library and The Huntington Library. This visually appealing series of interactive lessons helps explain how printing, editing, and directing made “Shakespeare subject to change.”

Shakespeare's Life & Times "This web site provides an extensive introduction to Shakespeare's life and times. The web site is divided by subject areas such as: Shakespeare's life; the stage; history and politics; the background of ideas; the drama, etc. Each of these topics is then subdivided, and these sub-headings lead to sets of individual pages that provide clear and simple introductions to the issues in question. The pages are often illustrated and sometimes include links to external web resources. Links to electronic texts of Shakespeare are, of course, provided." The Humbul Humanities Hub

A Selected Guide to Shakespeare on the Internet compiled by Hardy M. Cook.

William Shakespeare from Voice of the Shuttle


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