Dr Peter Kirwan, University of Nottingham
As you walk around the exhibition Shakespeare: staging the world, you’ll see objects drawn from across continents and time periods, all linked by Shakespeare. Sometimes the connection is to Shakespeare’s life and immediate world, but more often it’s the quotations from his plays that frame the exhibits and create the overarching theme of the exhibition. When seen in this fragmented way, it can be easy to take the words for granted, but in fact their presentation is less than straightforward.
Take the quotation that illustrates the birds-eye map of Venice, drawn from Love’s Labour’s Lost:
I may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice:
Chi non ti vede non ti pretia
The Italian proverb translates roughly as “Venice, he that does not see thee does not esteem thee”, and captures the wonder experienced by those standing before de’…