The Hatch and Brood of Time is a weekly column on the place of William Shakespeare in history, his works, and their interpretations. Along with providing insight into the cultures of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, Shakespeare’s works have inspired innovation throughout four centuries and countless fields, from the shaping of modern cryptography to the naming of Uranus’s moons. The Hatch and Brood of Time examines ways in which Shakespeare’s life and writings have influenced and reflected history, revealing his multifaceted impact on the present day.

Shakespeare’s Dogs
The Hatch and Brood of Time Volume I: September28, 2020By London Johns Mark Antony calls to “let slip the dogs of war”; Richard II curses “dogs easilywon to fawn on any man”; Celia insists that Rosalind’s words are “too preciousto be cast away upon curs.” The si…
Shakespeare in the Restoration
The Hatch and Brood of Time Volume 2:October 5, 2020 By London Johns In 1660, King Charles II returned from France, reestablishing the Stuartmonarchy in England and bringing with him a wave of new ideas and practices withthe …
Examining the Wooden O
The Hatch and Brood of Time Volume 3: October12, 2020 By London Johns The prologue of William Shakespeare’s Henry V questioned how a single theatercould contain stories from around the world. “May we cram/Within this wooden Ot…
The Baconian Cipher in Shakespeare and the Military
The Hatch and Brood of TimeVolume 4: October 19, 2020 ByLondon Johns In the early 20th century, in a recently-built laboratory in Geneva, Illinois, ateam of researchers were working to identify and interpret ciphers in the worksof Renaissance…
The Weird Sisters’ Beards
The Hatch and Brood of Time Volume 5: October25, 2020 By London Johns “What are these,/So withered, and so wild in their attire,/That look not liketh’ inhabitants o’ th’ Earth/And yet are on ’t? . . . You should …
Alas, Poor Will: What Happened to Shakespeare’s Skull
The Hatch and Brood of Time Volume 6: November 2, 2020 By London Johns Throughout the centuries since Shakespeare’s death, countless conspiracytheories about his grave have risen and been put to rest. The combination ofShakes…
Weighing Hamlet’s Sources
The Hatch and Brood of TimeVolume 7: November 9, 2020 By London Johns In 1596, William Shakespeare’s 11-year-old son Hamnet died. His cause of deathis not known, though it is possible he died of bubonic plague. His fat…
Ballads and Folk Songs in Shakespeare’s Plays
The Hatch and Brood of TimeVolume 8: November 16, 2020 By London Johns Music is a key aspect of Shakespeare’s plays. All but one of his comedies andall but four of his tragedies included songs or stage directions about songs,and songs we…
Shakespeare in America
The Hatch and Brood of Time Volume 9:November 23, 2020By London Johns There are few mentions of the American colonies in Shakespeare’s works.Throughout all of his plays, the word “America” appears only once, in The Comedyof Errors; Antipholus and Dromio o…
Shakespeare’s Schools in the Present Day: A Review of Scott Newstok’s How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons From a Renaissance Education
The Hatch and Brood of Time Volume 10: November 30, 2020By London Johns Newstok, Scott. “Front Cover.” Princeton University Press, 2020,press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691177083/how-to-think-like-shakespeare.Every morning, high school students across the country sit down at home, in…
John Shakespeare the Wool Dealer
Volume 11: December 7, 2020John Shakespeare the Wool DealerBy London JohnsWhat is known about William Shakespeare’s childhood has been pieced togetherfrom scraps of information and much guesswork. Significantly more can bediscovered about his parents during the years in which William Shakespear…
The Hatch & Brood of Time 12: Ophelia’s Distraction
Volume 12: December 14, 2020Ophelia’s DistractionBy London Johns In Act IV, Scene 5 of Hamlet, Ophelia enters distracted. She sings suggestivefolk songs and speaks in riddles. Two scenes later she has died, quietly andoffstage. Ophelia’s madness, as brief as it is in the play, became an icon…
The Hatch & Brood of Time 13: Inviting the Devil to the Stage
Volume 13: January 4, 2021Inviting the Devil to the StageBy London Johns In Act III Scene 3 of The Tempest, Ariel appears like a harpy, clasps a banquettable with his wings, and vanishes it, accompanied by thunder and lightning. Howwas it possible for actors to perform this trick onstage? St…
The Hatch & Brood of Time 14: William Henry Ireland’s Forgeries
Volume 14: January 11, 2021William Henry Ireland’s ForgeriesBy London Johns In 1796, a newly-discovered Shakespeare play, Vortigern and Rowena, appearedonstage in London. At first, the audience watched quietly, expecting a play torival King Lear or Hamlet. But by the final act, they had erupte…
Macbeth, King Lear, and the Gunpowder Plot
Volume 15: January 20, 2021Macbeth, King Lear, and the Gunpowder PlotBy London Johns In the fall of 1605, William Parker, a member of the House of Lords, received ananonymous letter instructing him to refrain from attending Parliament the nextday. “God and man hath concurred to punishe the w…