William Shakespeare

Shakespeare paperbacks get a funky makeover for 400th anniversary of his death

Four hundred years later, William Shakespeare’s collected works remain relevant, enduring classics. In acknowledgement of the 400th anniversary of his death, Pelican designers Manuja Waldia and Paul Buckley freshened up the Bard’s paperbacks with some modern makeovers. 

Below, Waldia tells EW about their inspirations for each cover, and how they’re reframing these works for a 21st century audience.

King Lear

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Shakespeare's handwritten defense of refugees now available online

In a timely move, the British Library has digitized 300 texts as part of a new Shakespeare exhibition, and one of these documents is an especially rare treasure: Written in his own handwriting is part of a script from The Book of Sir Thomas More, in which the Bard advocates for humane treatment of refugees (in the voice of Sir Thomas More).

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Dakota Johnson and Penn Badgley do Shakespeare in exclusive 'Anarchy' trailer

Dakota Johnson

Image Credit: Seacia Pavao

If you watched Sons of Anarchy but sometimes thought, “Not enough Shakespeare,” then you’re in luck. Anarchy, the recently retitled film that was Cymbeline when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September, is a modern-day take on the Bard’s play about jealousy, love, and betrayal in the titular British king’s court.

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Ira Glass isn't so sure he can defend his 'Shakespeare sucks' comments (Updated)

Shakespeare Ira Glass

Image Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images; Hulton Archive/G

UPDATE: We asked Ira Glass if he does indeed believe Shakespeare sucks, and this is what he said: ”That was kind of an off-the-cuff thing to say that in the cold light of day, I’m not sure I can defend at all.”

Don’t worry, high school kids choking down Hamlet and Macbeth before school starts. You’re not alone: Famed radio host Ira Glass also hates Shakespeare.

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Gillian Flynn to write updated version of 'Hamlet'

Gillian Flynn

Image Credit: Heidi Jo Brady

Who’s there? Why, it’s Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn with a new version of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Flynn will write a novel based on Hamlet for Hogarth Shakespeare, as part of an international publishing initiative across the Penguin Random House Group that presents retellings of The Bard’s tales by some of today’s best-known writers.

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