William Shakespeare

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Goodbye to the Filmmaker Who Brought Us Romeo and Juliet

Franco Zeffirelli was 96

(Newser) - Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, who delighted audiences around the world with his romantic vision and often extravagant productions, most famously captured in his cinematic Romeo and Juliet, has died in Rome at 96. Zeffirelli's son Luciano said his father died at home on Saturday, per the AP . "He... More »

Shakespeare's London Home Was in a Power Center

Historian pinpoints playwright's address in his 'Romeo and Juliet' era

(Newser) - A theater historian has followed official records to locate, for the first time, the spot in London where William Shakespeare was living when he wrote Romeo and Juliet. It was a wealthy section of central London, CNN reports—just the place for a successful Elizabethan bard recently moved from Stratford.... More »

After Caesar Is Knifed to Death, Protesters Emerge

New York’s Public Theater reimagining of the play is interrupted Friday night

(Newser) - "This is violence against Donald Trump." It's not a line written by William Shakespeare, but it's one that was uttered during Friday night's production of Julius Caesar in New York's Central Park. The Public Theater's reimagining of the play has been the subject... More »

Item on Antiques Roadshow Leaves Expert 'Trembling'

It's a minuscule Shakespearean notebook

(Newser) - You never know what you're going to see on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow—the things people find buried in their attics are sometimes complete junk and other times breathtakingly valuable. A tiny notebook apparently falls toward the latter category, and the appraiser's reaction to it is garnering... More »

Shakespeare's Rival Now Listed as His Co-Author

Christopher Marlowe gets partial credit for Henry VI plays

(Newser) - "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers," wrote William Shakespeare in Henry VI, Part II—or was it Christopher Marlowe? After more than 400 years, Marlowe has been given joint credit for all three of the Henry VI plays long thought to have been... More »

Shakespeare May Not Have Looked Like This

Portrait cleaning could alter the Bard's look in a big way

(Newser) - When you picture William Shakespeare, the image that likely comes to mind is the Chandos Portrait—the most famous portrait of the Bard and the only one known to have been painted during his lifetime, reports Smithsonian . But that doesn't mean it looks exactly like him, at least in... More »

Snowden Gets an Acting Gig Alongside Daniel Radcliffe

Well, kind of

(Newser) - Edward Snowden: whistleblower, fugitive ... thespian? He can add that last descriptor to his résumé after Saturday, when the documentary-style play Privacy is set to kick off at NYC's Public Theater, the New York Times reports. Snowden will have a one-minute-long cameo appearance (a pre-recorded tape transmitted from Moscow),... More »

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 »

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