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Sydney’s State Library Hosts Exhibition Showcasing Shakespeare’s First Folio

Sydney offers a rare opportunity to step back in time and witness the legacy of one of history’s greatest playwrights.

The State Library is currently hosting an extraordinary exhibition called “For All Time”, showcasing the iconic First Folio of William Shakespeare’s works. 

Dating back 400 years, this priceless book is one of the most significant in Australian history.

On today’s episode of This Arvo In Sydney, we talked to LiSTNR executive producer Dan Mullins and Maggie Patton, the exhibition curator, to find out how and why Shakespeare is still so popular 400 years after he passed away.

In 1623, seven years after he died, publishers in London decided to present all of Shakespeare’s works in one book called Shakespeare’s First Folio.

Ms Patton said that the exhibition highlighted the enduring relevance of Shakespeare’s storytelling; his tales of love, revenge, and power resonate with modern audiences.

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Shakespeare is a storyteller. If you get beyond the language, you think about stories about love and revenge, kings and power,”

Ms Patton said.

She said that Shakespeare had been a celebrity for 400 years, and the book was donated to the NSW State Library in 1885 by English manufacturing tycoons, brothers Richard and George Tangye.

He’s been popular in the 18th century. In the 19th century, he was huge; he was god-like. They thought he was so important.” 

Ms Patton said the unique display had attracted visitors around the world, providing a glimpse into a time when Shakespeare was revered as the father of English literature. 

The exhibition showcases objects and books from the era, transporting Sydneysiders to the 17th century and revealing the personal connections people had with Shakespeare’s works.

Hosted by Sacha Barbour, This Arvo in Sydney is a 10 to 12 minute daily news podcast made just for Sydney! Listen now on the Listnr app.