170 episodes

Hosted by Cassidy Cash, That Shakespeare Life takes you behind the curtain and into the real life of William Shakespeare. Get bonus episodes on Patreon
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

That Shakespeare Life Cassidy Cash

    • History
    • 4.8 • 51 Ratings

Hosted by Cassidy Cash, That Shakespeare Life takes you behind the curtain and into the real life of William Shakespeare. Get bonus episodes on Patreon
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Buttons on Clothing and Elsewhere in the 16-17th Century

    Buttons on Clothing and Elsewhere in the 16-17th Century

    Shakespeare talks about unbuttoning your sleeve in As You Like It, King Lear undoes a button in Act V of that play, and Moth talks about making a buttonhole lower in Love’s Labour’s Lost. We’ve talked about clothes here on the show previously, but what about the buttons that hold things like sleeves together, and various buttonholes. What were buttons like for Shakespeare’s lifetime, who was making them, and what material was used? How are 16th century buttons different from the ones we have today, and would we find buttons in the expected places, or were there unusual ways to use buttons in Shakespeare’s lifetime? To find out the answers to these questions, we are talking with the Renaissance Tailor, who specializes in recreating 16-17th century clothing, Tammie Dupuis. 
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    • 20 min
    Poison, Unicorns, and Toadstones

    Poison, Unicorns, and Toadstones

    From Hamlet’s father being murdered by poison, to Romeo killing himself when he drinks poison, and several instances of hemlock, dragon’s scales, hebenon and others in between, Shakespeare utilizes poison as a dramatic device in several of his works. The use of poison was not just an easy tool for a plot twist, however, since poison was both a pervasive fear at all levels of society as well as a convenient and readily available method to dispatch someone, given that poison was incredibly hard to trace back to the criminal that administered it. The fear of poison was exacerbated by a broad ignorance of chemistry, resulting in many of the accepted treatments for illness being, in themselves, poison (Syphilis was routinely treated with mercury, for example, which is toxic.) Doctors, as well as monarchs, developed elaborate and unusual tactics for prevention and cure for poison, while those seeking to overthrow a monarch, or take out their enemy, used poison to come up with some sophisticated and complex designs for murder. Here today to share with us the history of real poisons from Shakespeare's lifetime used for medical and criminal application, as well as some ordinary items no one knew was trying to kill them, is our guest and author of The Royal Art of Poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul. We’re delighted to welcome Eleanor Herman to the show today.  
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    • 34 min
    Drunk Horse Riding

    Drunk Horse Riding

    Ep 320 | Phil Withington Get bonus episodes on Patreon
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    • 24 min
    Glass and Glass Making

    Glass and Glass Making

    In Shakespeare’s plays, he uses the word “glass” over 80 times, including to talk about specific kinds of glass like a pilot’s glass in Alls Well That Ends Well, and “the glasses of my sight” in Coriolanus. We can see from the surviving building of Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford Upon Avon, that window glass existed, and there was even an old glass house in the Blackfriars where the Blackfriars theater was located, but how was all this glass made? What materials were used? What other products might have been made from glass, and what colors of glass were available or even most popular? To find out the answers to these questions and explore the history of glass for Shakespeare’s lifetime, we are delighted to welcome Allen Loomis to the show today.  
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    • 24 min
    The Elizabethan Mind

    The Elizabethan Mind

    Throughout Shakespeare’s plays, he references the mind over 400 times including talking about having a quick mind, an unclean mind, and even being out of your mind. Understanding how your brain worked, and what you as an individual could do to control it, and respond to it, was a hot topic for Shakespeare’s lifetime. The rise in books meant that works by authors exploring this topic of the mind, melancholy, and reason were widely available, even directly influencing the works of playwrights like William Shakespeare. Here today to help us understand what the 16th century minds understood about neurology, dreams, and the imagnation is our guest, and author of the book, The Elizabethan Mind, Helen Hackett.
     
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    • 34 min
    Sign Language and Deaf Culture in 16th Century England

    Sign Language and Deaf Culture in 16th Century England

    British sign language has existed in some form among deaf communities at least since the 15th century, when some of the earliest records of sign language reveal descriptions of specific signs, many of which are still in use today. However, for Shakespeare’s lifetime, sign language was far from formalized among the Deaf, and certainly not widely accepted by the hearing community. Similarly, education of the deaf, in terms of schools established to educate the Deaf, Mute, or otherwise alternatively abled, would not take root in England until after Shakespeare’s lifetime, and that wasn’t until well into the 18th century. To help us understand what life was like for a deaf person in Shakespeare’s lifetime, as well as what signs existed, and what records we have from the late 16th and early 17th century for deaf people, sign language, and the deaf community for Shakespeare’s lifetime is our guest, Mary Lutze. 
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    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
51 Ratings

51 Ratings

cinderelochka ,

ROUND OF APPLAUSE!

Let’s give a huge round of applause to this remarkable show. Entertaining, so well researched, informative, fun & unique! I love this host, as as a fellow American Shakespearean scholar I’m always stunned by how much I learn from these episodes… this, coming from a woman who has studied this man professionally/academically! She blows me away with her knowledge and most of all passion that oozes from the presentation in each episode. Never stop this series. Thank you!!

Bad at Thinking of Nicknames ,

Love the show!

This has become one of my favorite podcasts and I look forward to it each week.

cpmnc ,

Fun and informative!

This is exactly what I was looking for in my search for a Shakespeare podcast- an in-depth look at the history and culture of his time. The interview style makes for easy listening while still offering a lot of insight!

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