May 20, 2024

Cultural Encounters 1601: “Hamlet” and “Twelfth Night”

Event Series: Cultural Encounters: Books that Have Made a Difference

The Globe Theater

The nature of plays means that they are fluid, being different every time someone engages a written script. Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Twelfth Night are generally regarded to have been first performed in 1601. Both plays—one a tragedy, one a comedy—exhibit cultural encounters surrounding death. They prompt their audiences, and later their readers, to consider mortality as an objective truth to which the living react in divergent ways. In this conversation Michael Scott and Michael Collins will explore how these two plays confront others in their otherness as they search for reconciliation and peace within the transience of life.

This event is sponsored by the Future of the Humanities Project and the Georgetown Humanities Initiative at Georgetown University with Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. It is part of the year-long series, Cultural Encounters: Books that Have Made a Difference.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user David Stanley


Michael Scott

Michael Scott

Michael Scott is senior dean, fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, college advisor for postgraduate students, and a member of the Las Casas Institute. He also serves as senior advisor to the president of Georgetown University. Scott previously served as the pro-vice-chancellor at De Montfort University and founding vice-chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University, where he is professor emeritus.

Michael Collins

Michael Collins

Michael Collins is a teaching professor of English and dean emeritus at Georgetown University. He has published essays on Anglo-Welsh poetry in Poetry Wales, World Literature Today, the Dictionary of Literary Biography, and the Anglo-Welsh Review. He is an honorary fellow of Wrexham Glyndwr University, University of Wales, and a recipient of Georgetown University’s Presidential Medal and its Bunn Award for Outstanding Teaching.