This Saturday – April 23 – will mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, and after all that time, his work is still beloved (though, maybe not by current high schoolers, who are probably toiling through one of his works right now…). Literary critic Harold Bloom claims that while the Bible may be the Western basis for understanding the spiritual side of being human, Shakespeare’s works are the foundation for how we understand our own humanity. Regardless, his plays and sonnets must still speak to us – we’re reading, and performing, and re-imagining them all the time.
If you want to learn more about the Bard and his impact on world literature, pick up one of the ten titles listed here.
Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? – James Shapiro
How Shakespeare Changed Everything – Stephen Marche
Ideas of Order: A Close Reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnets – Neil L. Rudenstine
Shakespeare Basics for Grown-Ups: Everything You Need to Know About the Bard – E. Foley and B. Coats
The Shakespeare Book – Stanley Wells
Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human – Harold Bloom
The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios – Eric Rasmussen
Shakespeare’s Restless World: A Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects – Neil MacGregor
Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare – Stephen Greenblatt