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Film, Video Shakespeare's Genealogies

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  • Shakespeare's Genealogies


  • William Shakespeare was fascinated with family dynamics, often using them to fuel his plots with familial jealousy, lust, murder, mistaken identity and long-lost siblings. Many of his works share characters that can be linked together by a common family history dating to pagan times. Vanessa James, professor of theater arts at Mount Holyoke College, unravels these lineages in a lecture at the Library of Congress. "Shakespeare's Genealogies: Plots and Illustrated Family Trees for All 42 Works," published by Melcher Media, is the follow-up to James' critically acclaimed book "Genealogy of Greek Mythology," in which she reveals the lineage of more than 3,000 mythical gods and mortals from ancient Greek texts. "Shakespeare's Genealogies" uses the same two-sided, accordion-fold, fully illustrated format as the Greek mythology volume. The accordion-fold allows one to read the book traditionally, page-by-page, or to unfold the work to 17 feet and view the intricacies of the lineages in their entirety. The book begins with a biography of Shakespeare, accompanied by his own family tree, and continues with charts organized according to category of play: Myths and Legends, Legends into History, Continental Plays, Roman History Plays and British History Plays. These categories diverge from the traditional grouping into tragedies, histories and comedies of the Bard's works. The unique reorganization of these plays is a product of James' own scholarship in order to better understand the bloodlines of Shakespeare's characters.


  • Library of Congress
  • Library of Congress. Center for the Book, sponsoring body

Created / Published

  • Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 2007-11-07.


  • -  Literature


  • -  Classification: Fine Arts.
  • -  Classification: General Works.
  • -  Classification: Language and Literature.
  • -  Vanessa James.
  • -  Recorded on 2007-11-07.
  • -  Kids, Families.


  • 1 online resource

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021687935

Online Format

  • video
  • image
  • online text

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Credit Line: Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Library Of Congress, and Sponsoring Body Library Of Congress. Center For The Book. Shakespeare's Genealogies. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, -11-07, 2007. Video.

APA citation style:

Library Of Congress & Library Of Congress. Center For The Book, S. B. (2007) Shakespeare's Genealogies. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, -11-07. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Library Of Congress, and Sponsoring Body Library Of Congress. Center For The Book. Shakespeare's Genealogies. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, -11-07, 2007. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.