Tag Archives: Venus and Adonis

Why Shakespeare Still Matters

Shakespeare has mattered ever since his name first appeared in print in 1593 with his erotic and entertaining poem, Venus and Adonis. He was 29 years old. For much of the poem the goddess of love is naked and begging for sex before Adonis, but he resists her advances. Venus and Adonis was a sensation […]

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Year of Shakespeare: Around the Globe and Back Again

This post is part of Year of Shakespeare, a project documenting the World Shakespeare Festival, the greatest celebration of Shakespeare the world has ever seen.   AROUND THE GLOBE AND BACK AGAIN: A MOMENT TO REFLECT By Colette Gordon, University of Cape Town Now that the Globe to Globe World Shakespeare festival has completed its Olympian […]

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Shakespeare Wins the Debate: Part 2

On Monday (3 June) I was the opening speaker at a debate held at the English-Speaking Union headquarters in London at which the motion was ‘This house believes that William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the plays and poems attributed to him’. The other speakers in favour of the motion were Paul Edmondson and Michael Dobson; […]

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Shakespeare’s ‘Rough Magic’

After the resounding magical success of the Little Angel Theatre’s Venus and Adonis puppet play for the R.S.C.’s Complete Works Festival in 2006, I was expecting an enchanted, toy-box-style theatre with a magical island entirely populated by puppets. There was no ‘on-stage’ toy theatre and eight actual actors were involved. But the result was still […]

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Shakespeare and Sensibility

Writing about Montaigne’s influence on The Tempest for my recent blogs has reminded me that my mentor and friend Professor T. J. B. Spencer once said that Shakespeare and Montaigne were the first two authors in Western Literature to demonstrate a capacity to write sympathetically of the sufferings of animals. What he had in mind […]

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Face of Clay

In New York last week I had the unusual and fascinating experience of sitting for my portrait bust. The artist is Greg Wyatt, a distinguished sculptor whose many remarkable works include the Shakespeare-inspired sculptures commissioned for the Great Garden of Shakespeare’s home, New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon. Other works by him adorn many public buildings in America […]

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Our National Poet on National Poetry Day

So today is National Poetry Day. I’m not sure what that signifies: presumably that we should remind ourselves of what poetry means, or has meant, to us. Is it true that for many, perhaps most people, poetry is something that belongs to their youth, their early, romantic days? Love poems by Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth, Byron, […]

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Shakespeare and Poetry

I can’t help thinking of Shakespeare as a poet first and a playwright second. I know we all of us want Shakespeare to do both equally well, but I think first and foremost his mind and imagination were alive with poetic and rhetorical possibilities. The first time he breaks into print is with the long […]

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