Families, teachers and other visitors to the University of Arizona campus are receiving immersive exposure to William Shakesepeare's First Folio.
In addition to viewing the First Folio, visitors have created books of Shakespeare quotes with Mark Andersson of Panther Peak Bindery, and also UA School of Art students; learned to write letters with a quill and close them with wax seals; enjoyed Elizabethan music; viewed a dramatic Shakespearean "death" onstage; and sampled some of Shakespeare's most famous compliments and insults.
The First Folio exhibition will remain open through March 15 at the Arizona State Museum.
A few facts about the First Folio:
- The First Folio was printed in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, and published in London by Isaac Jaggard and Edward Blount.
- A folio is a term for a large book made by folding the sheets of paper only once. Folio is also a word used to describe the approximate size of a book — a large book. The folio format usually was reserved for royal, religious or reference documents.
- Shakespeare's First Folio was the first folio ever published in England devoted exclusively to plays. Plays were not considered literature at that point in time.
- The First Folio contains more than 900 double-columned pages, an engraved portrait, and several prefatory letters and poems. It weighs about 4 pounds.
- Martin Droeshout created the iconic portrait of Shakespeare on the title page of the folio when Droeshout was 22 years old.
- The First Folio contains 36 plays and, for the first time, groups them into comedies, histories and tragedies.
- In the First Folio, the plays are printed one right after another; "The Tempest" is the first.
- "Troilus" and "Cressida" appears in the First Folio but are not listed in the table of contents.
- Because of the way in which the First Folios were printed and have been handled over the ages, no two First Folios are alike.
- Because we have not found any manuscript copies of the plays written in Shakespeare's handwriting, the First Folio is the closest thing we have to the plays as Shakespeare wrote them.
Photos by John de Dios/UANews