Shakespeare and the Sea – CONFERENCE

Date / time: 8 September - 9 September, All day

Shakespeare and the Sea - CONFERENCE


In September 2023 Royal Museums Greenwich will be hosting a two-day hybrid conference on ‘Shakespeare and the Sea’. 

8-9 September 2023 | National Maritime Museum | Online

Keynote Speakers: Professor Steve Mentz (St. John’s University) and Professor Emma Smith (University of Oxford)

Across Shakespeare’s plays, the sea’s agency can be felt shaping plots and characters’ lives. In addition, images of wild, deep, and boundless seas, even in landlocked plays, give expression to characters’ passions, suggest matters concealed from view, and provide a vocabulary for notions of transformation and sublimity.

Over the past four centuries, Shakespeare’s seas have been staged in theatres across the world and have provided inspiration for artworks both textual and visual; and further, Shakespeare’s plays have themselves been taken to sea – read and performed aboard ships traversing the world’s oceans.

The growth of the Blue Humanities as a critical field is drawing deeper and more meaningful connections between art and the oceans, attending to the ever-evolving ways in which humans perceive and interact with the maritime world and, in particular, illuminating our impact (and reliance) on the seven-tenths of the globe covered by water. Shakespeare’s plays are ripe for re-examination through a nautical lens, and most especially at the unique moment that marks 400 years since the publication of the First Folio. 

For those attending in-person, this is also an opportunity to discover the material culture of maritime history offered by the museum and even a chance to encounter the First Folio, a copy of which will be on display at the museum for part of this year.

For the full programme and to book tickets, please visit:

Image: Wiki Commons