A Piece of Shakespearean History: The First Folio Visits Seattle

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Seattle Shakespeare fans got to celebrate in the run-up to the Bard’s birthday (or deathday, if you’re the glass-half-empty sort) with the arrival of the First Folio at the Central Library.

An impressive gilt-edged tome of nine hundred pages, the first compilation of Shakespeare’s plays was opened to Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” soliloquy. Continue Reading ›

Not Just About Two Kids in Love: Top R&J Q&A

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April is a fabulous month for all sorts of reasons: the sun is brighter, the temperature is higher, the flowers are blooming… And this month has a lot to do with Shakespeare. If you haven’t already noticed, we at the ‘Notes are big fans of the Bard, and April gives us even more excuses to talk about him than usual. Not only was our main man born on April 26th (1564), but he died on April 23rd (1616)—that’s two days this month that we get to think all about Shakespeare! And if that isn’t reason enough (and it usually is), this particular year is a special one as it marks Shakespeare’s 400th death-aversary. While the prospect of celebrating someone’s death may strike you as grim, we choose not to think of it that way and rather consider the fact that even four hundred years after his death, the modern world still looks to Shakespeare’s work both for entertainment and as a classic guide to writing, and that’s pretty astounding. Continue Reading ›

De-stress and Take Finals… At the Same Time!

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If you’re a student, you know that the coming of spring is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, the sun is coming out of hiding (if only a little bit at a time), the temperature is higher, and the days are longer; it becomes more and more difficult to focus on schoolwork when the spring air is calling you outside. But then, on the other hand, you have the most dreaded of exams: the final exams. Everything you’ve learned over the past year/semester/quarter is all coming back to you—and you’re expected to regurgitate all of that knowledge back on paper. No, thanks? Continue Reading ›

Shakespeare’s 400th Commemoration Contest WINNERS!

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We asked you why you think William Shakespeare is still relevant, even 400 years after his death, and we are excited to share the winners below! Runners-up will receive 50 eNotes credits (to use on academic Q&A, essay review, and live tutoring) and the grand prize winner will receive $400 cash, a 1-year eNotes subscription, and 100 eNotes credits. We were so excited to hear of the many ways the Bard still inspires you, and even came to some fresh appreciations based on all the various answers—and answerers that—submitted.

Don’t miss out on another contest: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and/or sign up for an eNotes account, to get notified of all the giveaways, contests, and more! Continue Reading ›

April is National Poetry Month! Here Are 14 Ways to Celebrate

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These days, it seems like so many arbitrary things now have their own “National Day” (or week, or month—National Candied Orange Peel Day*, anyone?), but Poetry Month is a celebration that has been going on for twenty years! Regardless of the duration of its appreciation month, it’s safe to say that poetry has been immeasurably influential throughout human history; even before the invention of writing, people told stories to one another in the form of long, epic poems. Now, candied oranges are pretty great, and chances are they’ve been around for a long time too, but we’re betting that they haven’t had quite the same societal and artistic impact. Continue Reading ›

Happy Birthday, Beckett! Celebrate the (Absurd) “Waiting for Godot” Author

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Samuel Beckett was a most interesting man—a fact that can be immediately confirmed by the author’s influential contributions to the Absurdist Movement (but we’ll get to what that is in a moment).

Though born and raised in Ireland, Beckett fell in love with Paris in his 20s after graduating from Trinity College with a B.A. in modern languages and setting out on a cycling tour of France. There the young author befriended and made a pseudo-father-figure of fellow author and Irishman James Joyce, who provided a great deal of encouragement and assistance to Beckett and his work. Continue Reading ›

Macbeth Unlocked

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William Shakespeare remains, hands down, one of the most well-known and influential writers in recent history. Throughout his career, he published a truly impressive library of sonnets, poems, verses, plays, and tales. Among these works, Shakespeare is credited with the writing of four major tragedies: Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and, of course, Macbeth.  Continue Reading ›