Join Jonathan Bate and Dora Thornton as they discuss their new book, published to accompany a major exhibition at the British Museum from 19 July – 25 November.
As the world focuses on London for the 2012 Olympic Games, Shakespeare: Staging the World offers an opportunity to examine how the city's identity was being shaped four hundred years ago.
Thursday 5 July
5.00 – 5.45pm
Ruinart Circle Bar, Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Free, no booking required
More about Shakespeare: Staging the World
This illustrated book presents a collection of objects from the British Museum, as well as key pieces from Britain and elsewhere. These objects, examined through the lens of Shakespeare's plays, bring to life Shakespeare's characters, places and events.
Simon Forman's diary of 1611 gives a vivid account of attending a contemporary performance of A Winter's Tale; a dagger fished from the Thames gives new resonance to the gang violence of Romeo and Juliet; while Guy Fawkes's lantern illustrates the Catholic counterculture revealed through the failed Gunpowder Plot, which was later to prove the inspiration for Macbeth.
Authoritative, surprising, evocative and original, this new work offers a completely new approach to one of the most exceptional creative imaginations in history, showcasing his dramas of love and death, of youth and age, of political intrigue and cross-cultural conflict. In Shakespeare's time, all the world was a stage and the stage was all the world.
Buy Shakespeare: Staging the World from the RSC Shop.
Jonathan Bate is Provost of Worcester College, Oxford and formerly Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Warwick. He is the editor of the highly acclaimed RSC Shakespeare: Complete Works and the author of many books, including Soul of the Age: The Life, Mind and World of William Shakespeare. He is on the board of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Dora Thornton is curator of Renaissance collections at the British Museum. She is the author of several publications including Objects of Virtue: Art in Renaissance Italy (with Luke Syson) and The Scholar in His Study: Ownership and Experience in Renaissance Italy.