34 min

Emma Smith on "This Is Shakespeare" Folger Shakespeare Library: Shakespeare Unlimited

    • Arts

Is there a right way to interpret Shakespeare’s plays? No, says Oxford University’s Emma Smith, and there’s a good reason for that. In her new book, This Is Shakespeare, she writes that Shakespeare’s plays are characterized by gaps—unknowable elements and unanswered questions that require us to insert our own readings. These gaps, opened up by history, dramatic from, and Shakespeare’s tendencies as a writer, mean that these plays are much less tied up, spelled out, or clear cut than we like to think. In this episode, Barbara Bogaev talks to Emma Smith about her book, and some specific gaps in Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, and The Tempest. Dr. Emma Smith is Professor of Shakespeare Studies, Faculty of English and a Fellow of Hertford College at Oxford University in England. Her new book, This Is Shakespeare, was published in the US by Pantheon, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in 2020. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published March 31, 2020. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “That’s Not My Meaning,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. We had technical helped from Andrew Feliciano at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California, and Rich Woodhouse at Electric Breeze Audio Productions in Oxford, England.

Is there a right way to interpret Shakespeare’s plays? No, says Oxford University’s Emma Smith, and there’s a good reason for that. In her new book, This Is Shakespeare, she writes that Shakespeare’s plays are characterized by gaps—unknowable elements and unanswered questions that require us to insert our own readings. These gaps, opened up by history, dramatic from, and Shakespeare’s tendencies as a writer, mean that these plays are much less tied up, spelled out, or clear cut than we like to think. In this episode, Barbara Bogaev talks to Emma Smith about her book, and some specific gaps in Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, and The Tempest. Dr. Emma Smith is Professor of Shakespeare Studies, Faculty of English and a Fellow of Hertford College at Oxford University in England. Her new book, This Is Shakespeare, was published in the US by Pantheon, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in 2020. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published March 31, 2020. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “That’s Not My Meaning,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. We had technical helped from Andrew Feliciano at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California, and Rich Woodhouse at Electric Breeze Audio Productions in Oxford, England.

34 min

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