Shakespeare - Helpful Websites


This list of sites is by no means comprehensive; with a little bit of surfing, you will be able to find much more. BE careful; make sure your source has some authority. The web is a morass of redundancies (and often trash) in which it can be hard to find an original, authoritative idea. Please let me know about any problems on this page.


General Resources

  • The Folger Library's Shakespeare page has a wonderful wealth of on-line information—look through the links on the upper left under his name. This is a good first go-to site, and you can cite this as an authoritative source.
  • Shakespeare's Globe is the site for the theatre on the south bank in London.
  • The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has a number of links you can visit under "About Shakespeare" and "Education."
  • The Development of the Scenic Spectacle is project to describe early methods of staging, especially dramatic effects. It seems not to have been updated in years, but some of the material on it remains helpful, such as on this page about early special effects machines.
  • The Shakespeare Unlimited podcast from the Folger Library talks about a wide set of topics, from the plays themselves to Shakespeare's appearances in modern culture. They are not too long, either: about 30-45 minutes, just right for a drive to school. :) You can use these in papers.
  • For substantial reviews of performances, films, and publications, search through news about Shakespeare in The New York Times and The Guardian. You can use these in papers.
  • The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, in Stratford, is interested in his life and times.
  • If you want more, Bardweb.net contains a good collection of links. Remember to assess the authority of all sources: know who wrote it, and what kind of authority the writer has.

Texts on-line

Editors of virtually all modern editions regularize the text to modern grammar and spelling, so some aspects of EME language (some punctuation, spelling variations, use of the long ſ [s], and so on) will be elided in them. Usually this isn't a problem. If you need to see the original, though, you can download facsimiles of the First Folio for free from the Folger Library as .pdfs (do it in parts—they are huge files). This page also includes images of quartos and later. Also see the Shakespeare Quartos Archive for many more of these earlier and often very irregular versions of the plays that preceded the Folio.

NOTE: all editions will number lines differently, can use different spellings for many words, and even separate scenes differently. So, if you use an on-line source, you may have to look a few lines ahead or behind to find the same lines in our Bedford.

For students in my Shakespeare class: remember that the Bedford contains the only text and act.scene.line numbers that you may use in papers.

  • Open Source Shakespeare. A well-done site with advanced search features. It actually features a separate concordance. Try this one first. It allows you to search all of the plays at once.
  • The Works at MIT. Easy to use; search one play at at time with your browser's "Find" command.
  • The Internet Shakespeare Editions. This site from the University of Victoria has the best collection of Shakespeare's texts online. It includes transcriptions from original print editions and modern editions. It also includes much information about Shakespeare.
    NOTE: If you are in my Historical Development of the English Language class, you must quote in your papers the "old spelling transcription" of the 1623 First Folio from this website. Find them in the "Foyer." You may need to find examples through another site's concordance, but this gives the version you must quote and use in papers for this class. Watch for punctuation as well as spelling.
  • The Perseus Project's Renaissance collection includes many Renaissance texts and glossaries of Shakespeare's vocabulary along with digital versions of Shakespeare's works.
  • Eaerly Modern English Drama from the Folger library is a digital anthology of early modern dramatic works beyond Shakespeare.
  • The Holinshed Project is an on-line edition of one of Shakespeare's favorite sources, not just for history plays but also plays including Macbeth, Cymbeline, and others.

Nifty Blogs

  • The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust maintains two blogs. The first, Finding Shakespeare, includes a wide range of posts about Shakespeare's historical period. Blogging Shakespeare discusses all sorts of modern Shakespeareana.
  • Bardfilm covers Shakespearean on film and other modern media.
  • Digital Shakespeares discusses ways in which Shakespeare studies intersect with the digital humanities.
  • dispositio.net blogs on early modern theatre, especially modern performances.
  • Early Modern Whale discusses often wonderful interesting Early Modern pamphlets that can give a sense of contemporary cultural contexts.
  • And if you want more, the Early Modern Commons aggregates many blogs about early modern culture.