The Shakespeare Lecture

Shakespeare Droeshout portrait, 1623 (public domain)The Shakespeare Lecture was established in 1992. Friends of the McGill Library events such as the Shakespeare Lecture create a strong presence in the community, and build awareness of the Library’s role in the life and outreach of McGill.

A vast amount of material on Shakespeare is available throughout the McGill Library system with most of our holdings residing at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library and in our Rare Books and Special Collections. Some of the earliest editions of Shakespeare’s plays can be consulted in Rare Books and Special Collections, including, notably, a copy of the Second Folio (1632) of collected plays, and two copies of the Fourth Folio (1685). Like the rarer Third Folio (1663; 1664), the Fourth Folio includes seven plays not part of the First (1623) or Second Folios, most of which are now considered spurious. This fourth and last of the great seventeenth-century folio publications of Shakespeare’s plays was an important source for later editions.  Rare Books and Special Collections also has a 1598 quarto of Richard II.  Over the years, the Library has been fortunate to receive gifts, both financially and in kind to strengthen the collection of materials on Shakespeare. This could not have accomplished without the support and contribution from many of our friends and donors.

The Shakespeare Lecture is presented in partnership with the Stratford Festival.


  • 2025 lecture to be announced

Past lectures

  • Jessica B. Hill, Actor, Playwright, and Teacher
    Jessica B. Hill in Conversation with Professor Paul Yachnin
    January 25, 2024

  • Kimberley Rampersad, Director and Paul Gross, Actor
    The Hardness of King Lear: Kimberley Rampersad and Paul Gross in Conversation
    January 18, 2023

  • Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director, Stratford Shakespeare Festival and Siamak Hariri, Founding Partner, Hariri Pontarini Architects
    Stratford Festival's New Tom Patterson Theatre: A Virtual Conversation between Antoni Cimolino and Siamak Hariri
    February 3, 2022

  • Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
    Shakespeare and the Weight of this Sad Time
    November 4, 2020

  • Jonathan Goad, Actor and Director, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
    Taking Ownership: Stratford’s Jonathan Goad talks acting, directing, and playing with Shakespeare
    November 19, 2019

  • Tom McCamus & Chick Reid, Actors, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
    Our life in theatre: questions & answers
    November 13, 2018

  • Scott Wentworth, Actor and Director, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
    "Julius Caesar" Before The Rehearsal Room
    November 7, 2017

  • Graham Abbey with Michelle Giroux, Actors, Stratford Shakespeare Festival 
    A Muse of Fire: the enduring power of Shakespeare’s history cycle
    November 15, 2016

  • Deborah Hay & Ben Carlson, Actors, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
    A conversation with Prof. Paul Yachnin
    November 9, 2015

  • Martha Henry, Actor, Director, Teacher, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
    A conversation with Martha Henry
    November 4, 2014
  • Seana McKenna, Actor, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
    Shakespeare in 3D: An Actor's Point of View
    November 12, 2013
  • Lucy Peacock, Actor, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
    Work. Prayer. Carnival. My Journey With Shakespeare
    October 25, 2012
  • Antoni Cimolino, General Director, Stratford Shakespeare Festival
    Why I Believe in Shakespeare
    October 24, 2011
  • Paul Yachnin
    The Beast in Shakespeare: How an Animal became the World's Greatest Writer
    March 4, 2010
  • Albert Schultz
    From Page to Stage: Shakespeare the Director
    March 19, 2009
  • Barbara Hodgdon
    Bride-ing the Shrew: Costumes that Matter
    March 18, 2008
  • Gareth Armstrong and Kenneth Gross
    Shakespeare and the Jews
    March 29, 2007
  • Prof. Michael Bristol
    King Lear is a member of my family
    Or What I’ve learned from my students

    March 23, 2006
  • Prof. Paul Yachnin & Prof. Desmond Manderson
    Love on Trial: Same-Sex Marriage in the Court of Shakespeare September 27, 2004
  • Mr. Jean-Louis Roux
    Translating Shakespeare in French: Enjoyment and Torture
    March 24, 1998
  • Mr. Maurice Podbrey
    Shakespeare: From the Classroom to the Stage
    March 10, 1997
  • Prof. Leanore Lieblein
    Shakespeare in Quebec
    March 14, 1996
  • Prof. John Ripley
    From Drunken Catherine to Joyous Juliet: Shakespeare on Stage in the Nineteenth Century Montreal
    March 15, 1995
  • Prof. Peter Daly
    Visual and Symbolic Approaches to Shakespeare
    March 15, 1994
  • Prof. Roger Williams
    The Ides of March: An Evening of Shakespeare
    March 16, 1992
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