Songwriters such as Nick Cave (pictured) and the late Yolngu star Gurrumul have often drawn on the scriptures in their work.
In less than two generations, the proportion of Australians who never pick up a Bible has leapt to seven out of ten. But a robust biblical literacy can help us decode creative works and understand the past.
Anne-MarieDuff and Rory Kinnear as the Macbeths.
Brinkhoff and Moegenburg/National Theatre
Brilliant performances from the two central characters are undermined by a confused production.
The Great War uses scale models to depict catastrophe through a keyhole.
The Great War uses scale models to give a worm's eye view of titanic violence. In Kings of War, by contrast, lethal events are viewed from the unsteady perspective of leaders.
Allan Clayton as Hamlet and Lorina Gore as Ophelia in Brett Dean’s opera at the Adelaide Festival.
Neil Armfield's production of the Brett Dean opera Hamlet is a confronting three hours in the theatre, but then so is Shakespeare's play. The second act is devastating in its emotional impact.
The theme at the core of Rowling’s wizarding world speaks directly to a universal human reality: The struggle to come to terms with our mortality.
We may think of _Harry Potter_ as escapist delight, but J.K. Rowling’s books also contain an extended theme that has more in common with _King Lear_ than most English professors might care to admit.
Relics of St. Valentine of Terni at the basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin.
Dnalor 01 (Own work)
Valentine's Day originated as a feast to celebrate the decapitation of a third-century Christian martyr, or perhaps two. So how did the day become a celebration of love?
French engraving of a cuckolded husband.
University of Victoria
'Cuck', short for cuckold, is the favoured insult of men's rights activists today. But the term has a long history: from the 16th to 18th centuries it reflected a deep anxiety about women's sexual appetites.
John Fead, Shakespeare and his contemporaries, 1851.
The first recorded performance of the theatre company that Shakespeare co-founded was at a playhouse south of the Thames, but was lost to historians for centuries. Now we know where it lies.
A statue of former Cape Colony governor Cecil Rhodes is removed from the University of Cape Town after student protests.
The process of decolonising research methodology is an ethical, ontological and political exercise rather than simply one of approach and ways of producing knowledge.
Market street near the Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab. Ben Crowe/ERA Films
Shakespeare’s play offered me a chance to think about India's political and social issues from a literary and epic perspective.
Nikki Shiels in The Rover.
The Rover begins with 17th-century playwright Aphra Behn inviting those who don't like the idea of a female writer to fuck off, setting the tone for a hilarious and utterly relevant romp through Naples.
The series has divided critics: many have praised its sensitive depiction of rape and suicide, others have said it romantises taking one's own life.
Gregg Henry portrays President Donald Trump in the role of Caesar in the Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of ‘Julius Caesar,’ in New York City.
Joan Marcus/The Public Theater via AP
Some have denounced the New York Public Theater for encouraging violence against President Trump. But the play does just the opposite, warning of the pitfalls of political assassination.
Filling in the gaps.
Jonathan Brady/PA Archive/PA Images
The Booker Prize-winning novelist's Reith lectures explore the complex relationship between historical fact and fiction.
How the idea of Europe was forged.
The word Europe only appears ten times in the works of William Shakespeare.
Kate Mulvany as Richard 3: her acting of deformity seems to tell its own story.
Mulvany’s performance reminds us that Shakespeare still has the power to reveal the true monsters of our culture.
William Shakespeare is a sometimes controversial figure in South Africa’s school system.
Most other African countries have a less fractious or problematic relationship to Shakespeare than South Africa does.
The really remarkable thing about Greig’s Malvolia is not that she is a woman. It is that Greig has completely re-conceived Shakespeare’s character.
In the face of planetary problems such as climate change, does national citizenship lose its meaning?
There is an era that lends itself rather closer than the tired Nazi comparisons of Donald Trump. And it may have a far more useful message for us today.