Shakespeare's Dead

About the exhibition

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the Bodleian Libraries presented a major exhibition, fittingly called Shakespeare's Dead, which revealed the unique ways in which Shakespeare brings dying, death and the dead to life.

The exhibition was curated by two University of Oxford English professors, Simon Palfrey and Emma Smith, whose Image of the front page of Shakespeare's First Folio, Bodleian Libraries innovative research on this subject underpinned the exhibition's content.

The exhibition featured many gems from the Bodleian's world-famous collections, including Shakespeare's First Folio, the earliest editions of his works including Romeo & Juliet and Venus and Adonis, and many other original quarto playbooks. Shakespeare's own works was accompanied by illuminating examples of poetry, sermons, pamphlets, plays, diaries and illustrations by Shakespeare's predecessors and contemporaries across Europe.

 The curators

Professor Simon Palfrey, Tutorial Fellow in English, Fellow Librarian and Archivist, University of Oxford

Professor Emma Smith, Tutorial Fellow in English and Fellow Librarian, Professor of Shakespeare Studies, University of Oxford

This unique exhibition explores a fascinating theme in Shakespeare's works

- Emma Smith, co-curator of Shakespeare's Dead -


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