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The New York Public Library Celebrates Shakespeare: Hamlet: Poetry That Doesn’t Matter


April 15, 2011

In Shakespeare’s most self-conscious play, obsessed with writing, acting, directing, singing and public speaking, what types of poetry and performance “matter”? Shakespeareans have been concentrating in recent years on the materiality of the text, the concrete physical substances and practices of writing that circulated in Renaissance culture. But what exactly is material – not to mention lasting and meaningful – about the Ghost’s Impalpable presence, Hamlet’s erasable journals, the Players’ ephemeral performances, and Ophelia’s mad, musical song-speech?

A Writer in Residence in the Library’s Wertheim Study, Scott Trudell is a PhD candidate in English literature at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He is writing a dissertation about the relationship between literature and music in early modern England.

Please join us directly after the lecture for Music from Shakespeare’s England

Celebrate the finale of Shakespeare Week with Renaissance English choral music

Music Divine will perform selections from Shakespeare’s great musical contemporaries, Thomas Tallis, Thomas Morley, Thomas Tomkins and William Byrd.  These sacred and secular masterpieces will introduce us to the other great performative culture of Renaissance England, one whose ideas and melodies continually resonated on the Shakespearean stage.

Music Divine sings music without instrumental accompaniment from all periods during the past millennium, specializing in sacred music of the Renaissance.  Don’t miss their upcoming concert on April 2 at 2:30 pm, at the Grotto Church of Notre Dame.

To see the other lectures in this Series, click here.