Welcome to Episode #004 of That Shakespeare Life, the podcast that takes you behind the curtain and into the life of William Shakespeare.
I believe that if you want to understand Shakespeare's plays, then understanding the life of William Shakespeare, the man, is essential. This podcast is designed to help you explore early modern England as Shakespeare would have lived it by interviewing the historians, performers, authors, and experts that know him best.
This week we are talking with Dr. Bart Van Es about Shakespeare's best friend, greatest actor, and leading man: Richard Burbage. Bart van Es is an author, historian, and Professor in English at the University of Oxford. He joins us this week to give us an introduction to Richard Burbage, the man who was first to bring to life iconic characters like Hamlet, King Lear, and Othello.
Inside this episode, I ask Dr. Van Es about:
- What did Richard Burbage look like?
- Do you think he painted the Chandos portrait?
- What was Burbage's role in William Shakespeare's success?
- How do we reconcile the myth of players being disreputable with the large and powerful reputation Richard Burbage held?
Bart's Latest Project:
Dr. Van Es' latest work focuses on the place of children in Renaissance literary culture, both in drama and in non-dramatic verse. In addition to research on children, publications in progress include 6 Ways of Thinking in Renaissance Literature and a book of creative non-fiction on the Netherlands during occupation in World War II. You can follow some of Bart Van Es' work in the Times Higher Education as well as The Spenser Review.
Books Bart Recommends:
Tiffany Stern Rehearsal: From Shakespeare to Sheridan
Documents for Performance by Tiffany Stern
James Shapiro's 1599
Rival Playwrights by James Shapiro
1608 by James Shapiro
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Want to learn more about Richard Burbage?
Download this free fact file with 10 Incredible Facts on Shakespeare's leading man.