Dipping a Toe in the Nerdy Pool (i.e. Amazing Shakespeare Resources)

Behold, Fun Extras/To-Dos for a Shakespeare Nerd*

(* A true Shakespeare nerd will already know most of these, but they’re the best way to peer into the dark side)


  • With a couple of quick clicks, you can master the art of name-calling with this Shakespeare Insult Generator, plus listen to angry British accents pronounce the phrases you create! 


  • Shakespeare Standard is a good one-stop shop resource.  It’s basically a forum for nerds like me, run by nerds like me.  It comprises news of Shakespeare-related events and performances from all over, it points to awesome resources for scholarship at all levels (primary school on up to professional studies), and then includes articles on fun pop-culturey stuff (movie reviews, examination of memes on Bard motifs, etc).


  • If you’re on Twitter, follow @HollowCrownFans.  This account is managed by a couple of Bard super-fans who started the hashtag #ShakespeareSunday.  They post a theme for each Sunday, and followers all across the globe have a good time throwing in applicable quotations from any of Shakespeare’s works.  Since many participants are out of Britain, I run to my phone each Sunday morning to join in (I wouldn’t want to miss out due to my 8 hour time difference).  


  • Be a part of the coolest literary treasure hunt imaginable with www.shakespearesworld.org.   It’s great fun!  Here’s the blurb from their site to give you a clue as to what they do:  "Transcribe handwritten documents by Shakespeare’s contemporaries and help us understand his life and times. Along the way you’ll find words that have yet to be recorded in the authoritative Oxford English Dictionary, and which will eventually be added to this important resource."


  • Good Tickle Brain is a quick (hilarious) comic version of Shakespeare’s works.  Learned, funny, and generally awesome.  There’s also a sweet tchotchke shop!


  • Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust in Stratford is a wealth of information, and they offer all sorts of cool free info to non-academics.  So if you’re like me and just in it for the fun, check them out!  They have a cool podcast series on the Bard’s life (typically 20 minute episodes focused on one aspect of his times) and times and all sorts of searchable content of their archives.  This org partnered with FutureLearn to run the free massive online course on Shakespeare that I’ve referenced throughout my blog posts -- great for either interested newbies to plays/Elizabethan history or those who already dabble.


  • Play On! is a project manned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival that pairs 36 playwrights with dramaturgs to “translate” all 39 of Shakespeare’s plays into 21st century English.  It’s one of the many splashy projects happening to commemorate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary of his death in 2016.  They’ll be performed over the next couple of years in Ashland, OR.  This caused a lovely, loud controversy in the literary/theatre arenas when it was announced this past fall (great fun to watch from the sidelines).  There’s the contingent that thinks this project is groundbreaking and fun, and there’s the group that takes serious issue with a translation (since the whole point of Shakespeare is his distinct and beautiful language rather than his plot lines).  Read about their goals, links to opposing viewpoints, and details on how shows are being pulled together on their site.  I personally am interested to see the results and am not generally offended by the idea of translating the works since the original source material is still performed pretty regularly all around the world for the last 400 years.


  • I’m a big fan of the No Holds Bard podcast.  It’s run by two funny and learned men, Dan and Kevin, and includes a variety of quick topics and ways to throw a little Shakespeare into your everyday life (plus a feature for random online homework help, with results that have literally made me guffaw and want to go into tutoring). 


  • A reader (hi, Carole!) pointed me to an excellent site that complies several Shakespeare items: scholarly resources, funny sites, and blogs.  Click only if you're able to spend some time falling down the Bard rabbit hole -- Ultimate Shakespeare Guide.


Anything I need to add to this list?  I love discovering new resources!  Pipe in on the comments or find me on Twitter (@dreadpiratemama) to let me know of anything interesting I should check out!