To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the Bodleian Libraries will host a major exhibition – Shakespeare’s Dead – that confronts the theme of death itself in Shakespeare’s works. This unique take on the subject will explore how Shakespeare used the anticipation of death, the moment of death and mourning the dead as contexts to bring characters to life. It will also look at the actual dramatization of death and the acting craft behind it. These themes will be explored using key items from the Bodleian’s famous literary collections that include Shakespeare’s First Folio and the first Shakespeare playbook (Romeo & Juliet), a number of early editions and an extensive collection of plays and poetry by Shakespeare as well as by Shakespeare’s contemporaries.
Shakespeare’s Dead will open 22 April 2016. Admission to the exhibition will be free and booking is not required. A programme of talks and events will be held over the course of the exhibition and are being held as part of Shakespeare Oxford 2016. A publication by Emma Smith, The Making of Shakespeare’s First Folio, is available at http://www.bodleianshop.co.uk/books.html.