Symbolism in Shakespeare

Robin Williams • i Read Shakespeare • International Shakespeare Center Santa Fe

Coming soon: Symbolism in Shakespeare, or why is the nightingale in the pomegranate tree? Shakespeare never uses a mythological character, event, holiday, name of a gem or weed or flower or tree or animal, nor even a cardinal direction or day of the week, without recognizing the underlying resonance of that symbol and how it weaves into and comments on the play. This course will point out a number of connections that will make you say, “Aha!"

Why take this course? Once you see how Shakespeare uses this sort of symbolism through the examples in this course, your ears will perk up whenever you see a list of flowers, such as those in Ophelia's bouquet, or the items in the cauldron of the Wyrd Sisters in Macbeth. You will wonder why Oliver in As You Like It is set upon by a green and gilded snake as well as a lioness, with udders all drawn dry. You will note when Shakespeare chooses to mention a willow tree or a cypress as opposed to an oak or a yew tree. Everything will become much richer!