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With 'First Folio' Opening Soon, Here's How To Study Up On Shakespeare

National Portrait Gallery

Exactly one month from now, Shakespeare’s “First Folio” -- the first collected edition of his plays -- will be on view to the public at the Frazier History Museum. Unfortunately, you’ll only have until Dec. 10 to see it. That’s a slim window, so you may want to prep to make the most of your visit.

Here are some events happening over the next month to help you study up on Shakespeare:

“Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies”

On October 10, Peter Holland, the former president of the Shakespeare Association of America, is giving a lecture on the First Folio’s formal name “Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies.”

This older title is arguably more functional, laying out genres for the 36 collected plays like a TV guide detailing various types of movies. During the lecture, Holland will examine the choice and significance of the volume’s title. What was behind it? And how does thinking about genre help us understand how the plays work?

“Shakespeare & Art” Exhibit

Long before the time of streamlined social media trailers for theater productions (speaking of which, have you seenKentucky Shakespeare’s latest?), posters were the way to go.

As part of the Bridwell Art Library’s “Shakespeare & Art” exhibition, you can see some 19th century examples for plays like “Hamlet” and “Richard III.” This was a time when promoters were breaking contemporary typographic “rules” by using fonts of wildly different sizes (crazy, I know).

“Shakespeare and Art” will be on view until Oct. 24.

“Shakespeare in the World”

“¡Ser, o no ser, es la cuestión!” If you’re up on your Spanish, you might recognize that as the famous first line of Hamlet’s soliloquy. On Monday, October 17, Louisville Sister Cities, Inc. and the University of Louisville will perform the passage in the various language of Louisville’s sister cities -- including Quito, Perm and Montpellier.

“Shakespeare and the Creation of the Modern Era”

When William Shakespeare burst onto England’s literary scene over 400 years ago, he charted a path to today’s modern world and thoroughly permeated our culture and language. Over the course of five weeks, U of L English professor Julia Dietrich will discuss how some of the Bard’s greatest hits inform our modern lives.

This is a five week course that starts on Oct. 18. Best of all, it concludes with a First Folio field trip.

“Macbeth,” “King Lear,” and “Titus Andronicus”

Prepare for tears (and lots of blood) as three Louisville companies -- Actors Theatre, the U of L Theatre Department and Kentucky Shakespeare -- put on some of the Bard’s best known tragedies over the course of the next month.

You can find more information about tickets for these shows -- and the rest of the Will in the Ville events listed above -- here.