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Prof. Stephen Greenblatt Presents: Shakespeare's First Folio and Second Chance

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Professor Stephen Greenblatt Presents: Shakespeare's First Folio and Second Chance

To read a play after seeing it performed on stage is to give it a second chance. The plot, the characters, and the words may be largely the same, but the experience is transformed by the change in medium, with a different scope for the imagination and a significantly altered quality of attention. About half of Shakespeare’s plays appeared in print during his lifetime, and some may even have been sold at the theater where they were performed. But for half of his plays there was no second chance opportunity provided by print—not, that is, until the publication of the First Folio. This lecture will reflect on the 18 plays that appeared in print for the first time in the First Folio and will focus in particular upon The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare's supreme play about the possibility of a second chance.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration highly recommended. Walk-in attendees welcome as seating allows.

About the Presenter

Stephen Greenblatt
Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University.

Stephen Greenblat is the author of fourteen books, including Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics; The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve; The Swerve: How the World Became Modern; Shakespeare's Freedom; Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare; Hamlet in Purgatory; Marvelous Possessions; and Renaissance Self-Fashioning.

Stephen Greenblatt
He is General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature and of The Norton Shakespeare, has edited seven collections of criticism, and is a founding editor of the journal Representations. His honors include the 2016 Holberg Prize from the Norwegian Parliament, the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and the 2011 National Book Award for The Swerve, MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize (twice), Harvard University’s Cabot Fellowship, the Distinguished Humanist Award from the Mellon Foundation, Yale’s Wilbur Cross Medal, the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, the Erasmus Institute Prize, two Guggenheim Fellowships and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, Berkeley.

Among his named lecture series are the Adorno Lectures in Frankfurt, the University Lectures at Princeton, and the Clarendon Lectures at Oxford, and he has held visiting professorships at universities in Beijing, Kyoto, London, Paris, Florence, Torino, Trieste, and Bologna, as well as the Renaissance residency at the American Academy in Rome. He was president of the Modern Language Association of America and a long-term fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin. He has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Philosophical Society, the Italian literary academy Accademia degliArcadi, and is a fellow of the British Academy.

Shakespeare's First Folio (1623-2023)

This lecture is part of an ensemble of activities organized around the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Learn more about related exhibits currently running at the Hunt Library and the Frick Pittsburgh.

Presented by Carnegie Mellon University Libraries and the Center for Print, Networks, and Performance (CPNP) with additional support from the Department of English, The Frick Pittsburgh, the Humanities Center, the Center for the Arts in Society, the School of Drama, the Department of History, and the University Lecture Series.

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