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Shakespeare Workshop: hospitality and matters of taste

May 11, 2011

The Bean Eater, Annibale Carracci (1560-16

Celtic Leaners Network

St David’s Hall, May 21st 2011, 10am-2pm

A workshop on Shakespeare: hospitality and matters of taste

“Come on, gentle my lord” says Lady Macbeth to her husband, “Sleek o’er your rugged looks, be bright and jovial / Among your guests”. Like many of the bard’s works, Shakespeare’s Scottish play alerts us to the performative nature of hospitality, its ideals and potential dangers.

In this workshop we will examine the (troubled) art of hospitality in scenes from plays such as Hamlet, Macbeth, Twelfth Night and Troilus and Cressida, and the way that the early-modern printed book often played on the idea of the reader as a tasteful consumer.

The event will be run by Johann Gregory as part of the Celtic Learners Network, and will involve a powerpoint presentation, a talk, workshop and seminar discussion. You will not be expected to read particular plays in advance, but it will be helpful if you could bring a copy of the complete works for use on the day.

Some Workshop Activities

Discuss the notion of ideal hospitality: Ben Jonson’s poem, “To Penshurst”

Power Point: Healthy Reading Exhibition 1590-1690

Talk: Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida: visualising expectations as a matter of taste

Some possible scenes that we might consider:

Hamlet’s welcome

Macbeth I.vi

Macbeth Banquet Scene

Twelfth Night “Cakes and Ale” (II.iii)

Johann recently presented a paper in Paris at the Société Française Shakespeare conference; the topic of the conference was “Shakespeare et les arts de la table”. He recently curated a small library exhibition on Healthy Reading 1590-1690, while his publications include articles on Shakespeare and matters of taste. His Masters dissertation was entitled “Guests, Ghosts and Hosts in Shakespearean Tragedy: the limits of hospitality in performance”. He is currently completing his PhD research on Shakespeare at Cardiff University.


Further details will be placed here.


The CLN charge £25 to attend.

If you are interested, please book here to ensure the workshop runs.


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