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To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the publication of William Shakespeare’s first volume of plays, filmmaker Jack Jewers sent a portrait of the iconic playwright and a speech from A Midsummer Night’s Dream into near space. This image of Shakespeare atop the world serves as literal metaphor for his status the world’s foremost dramatist. The portrait was part of a film series that paid tribute the anniversary, with six short films exploring contemporary issues intertwined with Shakespearean speeches and poems.

While some may find Shakespeare’s language intimidating, his dramas delve into themes that are just as captivating and relevant to our everyday lives as the TV shows we watch today. The first volume of plays, known as Shakespeare’s first folio, is an immensely important book in English literature. Without it, plays like Macbeth may have been lost forever. Published on November 8, 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, it is believed that around 750 copies were printed, containing thirty-six plays.

Shakespeare’s colleagues, including fellow actors and theater owners, came together to compile and publish this testament to their former colleague and the greatest playwright in the history of the English language, with whom they had the privilege of working..

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