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Proms Extra: Shakespeare - Sheep and Shepherds

Shepherd and writer, James Rebanks joins Dr Emma Smith and Dr Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough to discuss Shakespeare's depictions of country life.

References to sheep, lambs, fleeces, wool and shepherds are to be found in many of Shakespeare’s plays. From Corin in ‘As You Like It’ who describes himself as a ‘natural philosopher’ to Perdita’s saviour in ‘The Winter’s Tale’, they are key characters in the plots and reflect the importance of the wool trade in Elizabethan England. James Rebanks, talks about his life as a shepherd in Cumbria and how much – if at all – the shepherd’s life has changed over the past 400 years. He will be joined on stage by Shakespeare expert Dr Emma Smith from the University of Oxford who presented Radio 3’s Sunday documentary looking at the buyers of Shakespeare’s First Folio. The discussion is hosted by Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough from Durham University who was selected as a New Generation Thinker in 2013 in the scheme run by the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find academic broadcasters of the future.

Producer: Zahid Warley

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42 minutes

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