Why Shakespeare’s First Folio coming to Mumbai is momentous
By Danish Sheikh
“Et tu, Brute!”
“Out, damned spot!”
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on/ And our little life is rounded with a sleep.”
These are iconic lines from iconic plays: Caesar’s dying gasp has seeped into our consciousness as a roar against betrayal; Lady Macbeth’s anguished plea is a lasting reminder of the insidious hold of guilt; and Prospero’s farewell to magic stands as a poignant ode to mortality.
William Shakespeare crafted these words of course, but were it not for the efforts of one John Heminges and Henry Condell more than four centuries ago, they would have never made their way to us.
Seven years after his death, these two colleagues of the Bard produced Mr William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories and Tragedies, often referred to simply as the “First Folio”.
The book put into print for the first time 18 of Shakespeare’s plays, including Julius Caesar, Macbeth and The Tempest.
One of the 234 surviving copies has now made its way to India, housed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj museum in Mumbai till March 8. Read more