While the actual date of Shakespeare’s birth is not recorded, his birthday is celebrated around the world on April 23, three days before he was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. To celebrate the Bard’s life and work, Fordham College at Lincoln Center senior Daniel Camou and Mary Bly, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of English, discussed his life and a great work he likely created while in quarantine from the bubonic plague: King Lear. Camou and Bly discuss some of the issues that we are faced with during today’s COVID-19 outbreak: They talked about Shakespeare’s class and privilege, which would have allowed him to escape the diseased confines of London to a home in the country, where he wrote the tragic play. They also delve into the story of Lear, which pits physical fragility against the harshness of nature and human cruelty. Yet both conclude that ultimately Lear ends as a story of redemption and love.


Tom Stoelker is senior staff writer and visual media coordinator for Fordham News. After fifteen years as a freelance designer, Tom shifted his focus to writing and photography. He graduated from Lehman College, CUNY where he majored in English literature and photography and he received his master's in journalism from Columbia University. His work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Wall Street Journal, and The Architect's Newspaper, where he was associate editor.