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Memorialising Shakespeare: The First Folio and other elegies
Emma Smith (Professor of English Literature, Oxford), gives a talk on Shakespeare memorials. Ben Jonson wrote in 1623 that Shakespeare 'art a Moniment, without a tombe/ And art alive still, while thy Booke doth live'. Centuries later Jorge Luis Borges observed that 'when writers die, they become books', adding, 'which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation'. This lecture considers Shakespeare's First Folio as a literary memorial to Shakespeare, alongside other elegies, epitaphs and responses to the playwright's death.