The book we know as the First Folio wasn’t given that title by the two Shakespeare colleagues who posthumously published his plays in 1623. Its formal name, Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, is more functional, laying out genres for the 36 collected plays – like a TV channel offering varying types of movies.
Peter Holland, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Shakespeare, examines the choice and significance of the volume’s title. What was behind it? How does thinking about genre help us understand how the plays work?
Holland is associate dean for the arts in the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and the McMeel Family Professor in Shakespeare Studies in the school’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre. He is a past president of the Shakespeare Association of America.
Co-presented by the McMeel Family Foundation.