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Shakespeare scholars say the Bard still relevant today — 400 years after his death

Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 

MANHATTAN — From Feb. 4-28, Kansas residents have a special opportunity to view Shakespeare's First Folio at Kansas State University. The book that will be on display at the university's Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art is one of the 750 books of his plays that friends of the Bard had published in 1623 London.

Kansas State University Shakespeare scholars Don Hedrick and Kara Northway say works by Shakespeare remain popular today — 400 years after the playwright's death.

"This celebration of the book is marked by 200 publishers just polled who ranked Shakespeare among the top five books published in the history of the world," said Hedrick, professor of English. "And it's the book studied by Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, JFK, Duke Ellington and countless other world leaders, artists and thinkers."

Northway, an associate professor of English, said scholars are still analyzing the information the First Folio holds today.

"With its stop in Manhattan, visitors — even schoolchildren — will be able to read the original words of Shakespeare for themselves, the same words quoted by more than 3,000 authors in the four centuries since his death," Northway said.

Hedrick said having the university selected as Kansas' host site for the First Folio is a prestigious honor.

"We look forward to a mayor's proclamation of 'Shakespeare in the Little Apple' for the folio exhibit in February and events through 2016," he said. "The citywide events planned prove Shakespeare is not just for the academy. This original work comes from a president of Standard Oil. He and his wife spent their life tracking down these folios to bid on and collect for their library of hundreds of thousands of rare books and documents, now the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill."


Don Hedrick

Kara Northway


Shakespeare in the Little Apple