Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Shakespeare Unauthorized Exhibit: Backdrop and A Map

I personally greatly enjoyed the exhibit Shakespeare Unauthorized at the Boston Public Library. I was very impressed with the collection of both original publications and works that they have preserved as well as the facsimiles present within the exhibit. I found the background pictures and displays that framed the exhibits themselves incredibly impressive in their magnitude and authority. These background images, especially the one of the massive picture of Shakespeare, put into a physical form the larger than life reputation and status given to Shakespeare within our society. The particularly striking aspect of the backdrop pieces was the portion of the exhibit with the life-sized characters from his different plays, which brought these towering characters into a form that expresses both the life-like quality of his characters and the powerful messages they manage to portray.

There is also one specific piece in the exhibit that I enjoyed, especially after some of what we were discussing in The Tempest today in class. This piece was the Dutch-made map of the world made around 1600. The map was fairly accurate with its depiction of the Old World, meaning the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa, while there was only a general idea present in the map of what the New World looked like, referring to the continents of North and South America. This map highlights part of the discussion we had today in class involving the recent exploration of the New World by the British in the time Shakespeare would have been writing in. This map gives a tangible representation of the influence that can be seen with the seemingly random references in his work The Tempest to locations within the New World mixed up with the Old World geography.  

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