William Shakespeare

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Dig at Shakespeare Theater Reveals a Surprise

It was rectangular, not circular; and toys for sound effects were found

(Newser) - The Bard was truly ahead of his time—and not only because of his way with words. Archaeologists digging at one of London's oldest playhouses , where Shakespeare's company performed from 1597 to 1599, have found a ceramic bird whistle they believe was used for sound effects—perhaps during... More »

UK Marks 400 Years Since Shakespeare's Death

President Obama joined London celebrations

(Newser) - If all the world's a stage, William Shakespeare is its architect. The playwright died 400 years ago Saturday, but remains the world's most famous writer, living on through endlessly reinterpreted plays and globally known characters, including the tormented prince Hamlet and the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. The... More »

What Day Job? Supreme Court's RBG Tries Acting

Ginsburg will have a cameo in 'The Merchant of Venice'

(Newser) - Art often imitates life, and that will ring true for none other than Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this summer as she throws off her court garb and dons stage attire for her role in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Vox reports. The 83-year-old justice's cameo appearance... More »

Shakespeare's Skull Really Is Missing

Researchers have completed their analysis

(Newser) - It looks like Shakespeare's skull really is missing from his grave. That's what an archaeologist has concluded after researchers were allowed to use ground-penetrating radar to scan the Bard's final resting place, Reuters reports. "We have Shakespeare's burial with an odd disturbance at the head... More »

Shakespeare Begs for Refugees' Mercy in Own Hand

Handwritten script by the Bard about to go online, thanks to British Library

(Newser) - A script reworked by none other than William Shakespeare and believed to be the only surviving handwritten play script penned by the Bard will soon be online via the British Library, and it speaks to a quite contemporary crisis, the Guardian reports. A scene by Shakespeare added to The Book ... More »

Filmmakers Ignore Curse, Scan Grave of Shakespeare

Findings to be revealed in Channel 4 documentary

(Newser) - Visitors to the grave of William Shakespeare can't help but notice this to-the-point inscription: "Blessed be the man that spares these stones, and cursed be he that moves my bones," it reads (with the spelling cleaned up). Curse or not, a group of documentary filmmakers has begun... More »

Author Claims Shakespeare Had Secret 'Bastard' Son

William Davenant would go on to become the poet laureate of England

(Newser) - William Shakespeare wasn't necessarily a doting husband: In his will, he famously left his wife Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children, his "second best bed." Now a new biography of the Bard of Avon suggests the playwright had a son with a married tavern mistress,... More »

The Bard Is Touring the US

Shakespeare's First Folio will travel to all 50 states

(Newser) - William Shakespeare is on a US tour: Or at least his so-called First Folio—the first printed collection of all of the Bard's 36 plays—is, NPR reports. Of some 750 copies printed in 1623, seven years after his death, 233 survive, per NPR. Now, to mark the 400th... More »

Church Stops Clergy From Digging Up 'Shakespeare Skull'

Clergymen wanted conjecture settled once and for all

(Newser) - Like to size up the cranium that once held the brain behind Macbeth, Hamlet, and roughly 1,500 words we still use today? Well, it's bad news for you—and anyone who believes William Shakespeare's skull is lying under a small village chapel in England, the Birmingham Mail... More »

Shakespeare Gets a 400-Year-Old Drug Test

Scientists determine what was in tobacco pipes found in his garden

(Newser) - "To smoke or not to smoke" was not the question. Something had been smoked in the pipe bowls and stems unearthed from William Shakespeare' garden in Stratford-upon-Avon; the question was what. Researchers in South Africa now have gas chromatography mass spectrometry to thank for their answer. A piece in... More »

Did Science Just Discover a New Shakespeare Play?

Psych theory and text-analyzing software show 'Double Falsehood' may be Bard's

(Newser) - Did William Shakespeare pen Double Falsehood after all? Texas researchers say he probably did after comparing the play to "psychological signatures" they worked up for the Bard, Lewis Theobald (the supposed author), and Shakespeare contemporary John Fletcher. The study, published in Psychological Science , used text-analyzing software and psychological theory... More »

New Shakespeare Find Has Gender Switch

1623 first folio was forgotten in library for centuries

(Newser) - An incredibly rare copy of one of Shakespeare's first folios has been rediscovered after sitting forgotten in a French library for centuries—and experts say the find could reveal a lot more about the plays and the playwright. Only around 800 of the first edition of Shakespeare's plays... More »

Shakespeare Is Why You Hate Zits

His plays are really into bad skin: researchers

(Newser) - The makers of Neutrogena may have Shakespeare to thank for their success: The influence of his work has left us grossed out by pimples and other skin conditions. So say dermatologists in a new study that notes how much his plays focus on bad skin, the Christian Science Monitor reports.... More »

Shakespeare Play So Gory Audience Members Faint

Others say they felt sick during Globe Theatre production of 'Titus Andronicus'

(Newser) - Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus is a gore-fest, and the Globe Theatre isn't pulling any punches in its revival of the play: Audience members have been fainting, as others have reported feeling sick while watching the production or not being able to sleep afterward, the Telegraph reports. The play features... More »

Guy's Revenge: Texting Complete Works of Shakespeare

Alleged fraudster will receive more than 29K texts

(Newser) - A man paid $133 for a PlayStation 3 on UK classifieds site Gumtree, but never received it—so he decided to get revenge on the fraudulent seller by texting him the complete works of Shakespeare. Edd Joseph, 24, discovered that it's easy for him to simply copy the text... More »

'Bad Handwriting' May Settle Shakespeare Mystery

Professor says it proves 'Spanish Tragedy' lines are by the Bard

(Newser) - It's been a nearly 200-year-long debate: Did William Shakespeare add 325 lines to Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy nearly a decade after Kyd's death? None other than Samuel Taylor Coleridge raised the question in 1833, and a 2012 computer analysis seemed to lend credence to the theory.... More »

Much to Love About Whedon's Much Ado

Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof star in Shakespeare comedy

(Newser) - Between filming and post-production for The Avengers, Joss Whedon took a brief break—to film another movie. The result is the tiny-budgeted Much Ado About Nothing, shot at Whedon's own house with a digital camera over 12 days. Despite, or perhaps because of, the project's simplicity, critics are... More »

Shakespeare a 'Ruthless' Food Hoarder

New study paints a picture of the Bard's darker side

(Newser) - William Shakespeare was, of course, an acclaimed playwright—but according to researchers, he was also a grain hoarder, tax evader, and all-around "ruthless" businessman. "Shakespeare the grain-hoarder has been redacted from history so that Shakespeare the creative genius could be born," say the academics in a paper... More »

Utah School in Tizzy Over Play's Risque Elvis Lyrics

'I'm all shook up' a little too controversial for one parent

(Newser) - A Utah parent almost got the local high school's performance of the Elvis Presley-themed musical All Shook Up canceled ... but the school got around the problem by changing such wildly controversial lyrics as, "Her lips are like a volcano that's hot." The initial decision to cancel... More »

Theater That Staged Shakespeare's 1st Plays Found

Curtain Theatre believed to have seen debut of 'Henry V'

(Newser) - Archaeologists say they have discovered the remains of an Elizabethan theater where some of William Shakespeare's plays were first performed. Experts from the Museum of London have uncovered a yard and gallery walls from the Curtain Theatre in Shoreditch, just east of London's business district. The Curtain opened... More »

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