William Shakespeare (26 April 1564-23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright – known as The Bard or The Bard of Avon – and one of the most widely read author’s of all time. Author of 38 plays – from The Tempest to Romeo and Juliet – 154 sonnets and two long narrative poems, Shakespeare is a global figure on the stage, in novels, and in illustrations that make him instantly recognised and quoted.
SHAKESPEARE 400 CONFERENCE
TBILISI STATE UNIVERSITY
22-23 SEPTEMBER 2016
The Centre for Shakespeare Studies at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia, and the Rustaveli National Theatre, hosted an interdisciplinary conference dedicated to the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death in 1616.
The Centre for Shakespeare Studies at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia, and the Rustaveli National Theatre hosted a three-day interdisciplinary international conference dedicated to the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.
The conference explored how Shakespeare’s work influenced and inspired other works across disciplines. The event aimed to unite academics, teachers and students, theatre practitioners and critics in a series of presentations, roundtables and performances.
Presentation of Paper: Shakespeare and Gerontology. When the age is in, the wit is out: Ageing in Shakespeare’s Plays – Martina Nicolls and Tamar Zhghenti.
The biology of ageing, and specifically the field of gerontology, has become increasingly focused on retaining youth than on embracing maturity. Shakespearean scholars tend to emphasize the bard’s negative connotations of ‘old’ people and his grim prognosis of their mental and physical capabilities, often quoting ‘when the age is in, the wit is out’ (Much Ado About Nothing: Act 3, Scene 5) and ‘as with age his body uglier grows’ (The Tempest: Act 4, Scene 1).
This paper shows Shakespeare‘s wit was not out, as he aged, by taking a time continuum of his works – and presenting it graphically. Given that Shakespeare died at the age of 52 and the average life span at the time was about 35 years of age (mainly due to the plague and other diseases), this paper questions: how old is ‘old’ in the 17th century? Specifically, this paper investigates Shakespeare’s mental, physical, and social references to ageing. Social references include the examination of relationships by contextualising the language – who is the speaker in relation to the aged person, and what is the age difference between them? This paper also examines gender differences in Shakespeare’s plays to determine the comparisons between ‘old women’ and ‘old men’ in terms of language and context. The implication is that gerontology in Shakespeare is socially contextualised by age difference, social status, and social expectations, as well as being gender-referenced. In conclusion, this paper brings young blood to an old theme.
SHAKESPEARE 450 CONFERENCE
TBILISI STATE UNIVERSITY, TBILISI, GEORGIA
2-4 MAY 2014
The Centre for Shakespeare Studies at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia, and the Rustaveli National Theatre will host a three-day interdisciplinary international conference dedicated to the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.
The conference will explore how Shakespeare’s work influenced and inspired other works across disciplines. The event aims to unite academics, teachers and students, theatre practitioners and critics in a series of presentations, roundtables and performances.
This paper will illustrate that William Shakespeare was not only one of the most profound observers of human psychology, but also of medical science. Nicolls begins by defining the times in which he lived – through the discoveries of anatomy by Andreas Vesalius and William Harvey’s theories of blood circulation, as well as rigorous scientific methods of Francis Bacon for testing hypotheses. It was a time of transition from superstitions and Church doctrines to advancements in science. Nicolls believes that Shakespeare supported science and medical practices of the new world view, and that he was well versed in human afflictions and their medical treatments, not only the dysfunctions of the human mind, such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders, but also of the body – such as epilepsy, arthritis, scurvy, syphilis, fevers, and diseases. Nicolls and Zhghenti will show that through his dramas he was able to inform and enlighten audiences on medical science, and advocate for medicinal treatments and immunisations.
SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE THEATRE, LONDON
The new Globe Theatre on the south banks of the Thames River in Southwark, London, was built not far from the original site (only 230 metres or 750 feet). The original theatre was built in 1599, destroyed by fire in 1613, rebuilt in 1614, and demolished in 1644. The new building is a reconstruction of the original 1599 theatre (incorporating some features from the 1614 building).
American actor, Sam Wanamaker, founded the Shakespeare Globe Trust and the International Shakespeare Globe Centre in 1970 in order to reconstruct the theatre. It was opened in 1997. It is made from English oak with a thatched roof, and benches to seat around 850. It also has a standing area where 700 people can stand to watch the plays – as they would have done in Shakespeare’s time.