It’s been 400 years since his death and yet we continue to find inspiration, revelation, solace, and entertainment in his poems and plays. In this original collection, Susannah Carson invites 38 actors, directors, scholars, and writers to share their own personal connections with Shakespeare and explore how he came to shape our world so completely.
Along the way, we reminisce on a childhood spent constructing makeshift matchstick theatres with Isabel Allende, grapple with Coriolanus for a modern audience alongside Ralph Fiennes, hear from James Earl Jones on reclaiming Othello as a tragic hero, share in Julie Taymor’s transformation of Prospero into Prospera, join Sir Ben Kingsley on his mission to keep Shakespeare’s ideas alive for all generations through performance, and muse with Brian Cox on social conflict in Shakespeare’s time and in ours. Together they offer fresh insight into Shakespeare’s work as a living legacy to be read, seen, performed, adapted, revised, wrestled with, and loved.
‘There are gems… politically thoughtful… illuminating’
– Times Literary Supplement
'Lively.... Thought-provoking.... a consistently stimulating read, which goes a great way toward illuminating the degree to which we all live already—and can live even further—with Shakespeare.'
– Publishers Weekly, starred review
'All these writers…write in a spirit not of superiority or undue deference, but in tacit acknowledgement of what Harold Bloom calls, in a foreword, "the most capacious of consciousnesses" in a writer who broadened and defined the horizons of human possibility'
'All will find light and warmth, comfort and companionship in these glowing pages.'
– Kirkus Reviews
'A cornucopia of delights for lovers of the Bard.'
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