University of Louisville Magazine

FAL 2016

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 75

W I 3 2 | L O U I S V I L L E . E D U THE FIRST FOLIO hen Sha kespea re died in 1616, it was not t he conventional practice to collect the complete works of an author. However, such was Shakespeare's prominence and popularity that two of his fellow actors, John Heminge and Henry Cordell, decided to publish his plays in collected form. They did so not only to preserve Shakespeare's plays, but also to ensure that they would be performed respectfully and appropriately for generations to come. The First Folio was published seven years after Shakespeare's death. The large and impressive 900-page book contained 36 of Shakespeare's plays, 18 of which had never been printed before. It is this fact that makes the First Folio so important. Without the First Folio, some of Shakespeare's most famous plays, including "Twelfth Night," "Measure for Measure," "Macbeth," "Julius Caesar" and "The Tempest," might never have survived. Without it, we may never have gained such a complete insight into Shakespeare's storytelling genius or experienced his mastery of language, character and human emotions. WOR DS AND WISDOM n 2014, t he Folger Shakespeare Librar y in Washington, D.C., announced a competition to send one authentic First Folio to one site in each of the 50 states. "It turned into a tremendous national competition," Rabin said. "Here in Kentucky, we decided to submit a joint proposal between three organizations. Ours was selected, which was tremendously exciting." The Folger Library's "First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare" exhibition will be housed at the Frazier History Museum from November 10 to December 10. The event is free to the public and also features three other rare folios: Shake- speare's 1685 Fourth Folio, Ben Johnson's 1616 First Folio and Beaumont and Fletcher's 1647 Folio, which are on loan from the UofL Archives and Special Collections department. The First Folio exhibition is important not only because of the literary signifi cance of the exhibits, but also because it allows the community to see, fi rst hand, the magnifi cence of Shake- speare's writing. When Shakespeare wrote, he expressed in a uniquely beautiful way what it is to be human. He used, and often created, words and phrases that captured our innermost thoughts, highest ideals and deepest emotions; and he did so in a manner that could be understood by everyone. This universal appeal is as strong today as it was 400 years ago. Shakespeare still talks to us and continues to give us the language of love, confl ict, pain and compassion. Shakespeare's relevance in the modern world is something that Rabin hopes visitors will take away from the exhibition. "The language we use now to talk about ourselves, our place in society, what it means to be citizens of the world, in many ways that language came from Shakespeare. And so for people to come to see the First Folio — to participate in the First Folio Professor Andrew Rabin in UofL's Ekstrom Library, standing next to an original copy of Shakespeare's Fourth Folio. Love sought is good‚ but given unsought‚ is be er. TWELFTH NIGHT " "

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of University of Louisville Magazine - FAL 2016