The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606

Q&A with James Shapiro (October 8, 2015)


  1. In this online Q&A, author James Shapiro answered questions about his new book The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606. Shapiro, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and member of the Folger Board of Governors, shows how the tumultuous events in England in 1606 affected Shakespeare and shaped the three great tragedies he wrote that year—King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra. The Year of Lear sheds light on these three plays by placing them in the context of their times, while also allowing us greater insight into how Shakespeare was personally touched by such events as a terrible outbreak of plague and growing religious divisions.