Shakespeare and the Renaissance: General Resources

  • The Shakespeare Web – Links to various Shakespeare sites, including some already on this page.
  • Open Source Shakespeare – A flexible research source for both the plays and the poetry; allows you, for example, to search for a character and collect in one place all the lines spoken by that character.
  • Shakespeare and His Critics – A collection of 19th-century essays, including works by Hazlitt and Coleridge, and a letter about Ophelia by Helena Faucit, who played the part with Macready.
  • Treasures in Full: Shakespeare in Quarto – Graphic files of “the British Library’s 93 copies of the 21 plays by Shakespeare printed in quarto before the theatres were closed in 1642,” along with background information and analysis of how the texts were changed after the theaters reopened in 1660.
  • “Some Versions of Hamlet” – A home page for a course on the history of the Hamlet story in texts and on stage and film from Saxo Grammaticus to John Updike, with the focus on Shakespeare’s play.
  • The Shakespeare Dictionary – Created by Stephen Sherman: “As an outgrowth of my own Shakespeare reading and studying , I built up a list of Shakespearean words that troubled or intrigued me.”
  • A Dictionary of Stage Directions in English Drama, 1580-1642 – Created by Dr. Alan Dessen of UNC-Chapel Hill, this web site includes updates to his book of the same name, which “defines and explains over 900 terms found in the stage directions of English professional plays from the 1580s to the early 1640s.”
  • Shakespeare’s Globe – The official web site of the New Globe, including a virtual tour (which seems to work only in Internet Explorer).
  • Shakespeare and the Globe: Then and Now – A website provided by Encyclopedia Britannica full of useful information and links.
  • The Folger Shakespeare Library – The major American collection of Shakespeariana and other material relating to the European Renaissance, the Folger has more First Folios than any museum in the world.
  • “Proper” Elizabethan Accents – It turns out Shakespeare probably sounded more like someone from Buena Vista, VA., than Prince Charles! Correct your teacher’s Shakespearian accent.
  • Shakespeare Illustrated – Emory University’s website devoted to paintings and illustrations on Shakespearean themes, with background information on the plays, paintings, and artists, bibliography, and downloadable images.
  • Early Modern Literary Studies – Early Modern Literary Studies is an electronic journal serving as a formal arena for scholarly discussion and as an academic resource for researchers in the area. Articles in EMLS examine English literature, literary culture, and language during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Each issue contains not only full texts of the essays but abstracts of each article for quick review.
  • VIVA Verse Drama and English Poetry links – Searchable collections of English verse drama and poetry texts. (Subscription services)
  • The American Shakespeare Center (For an NPR story on the building of the replica of the Blackfriars Theatre in Staunton, VA, click here)