Celebrating Shakespeare’s 400th

April 28, 2016


Staff Reporter | anh038@latech.edu


Christine Strebeck shows the possible answer to one of the questions during the quizbowl/puppet show. Photo by Brian Blakely

Christine Strebeck shows the possible answer to one of the questions during the quizbowl/puppet show.
Photo by Brian Blakely


In the study of English literature, William Shakespeare has been widely regarded as one of the most influential playwrights of his time.



On April 20, the Louisiana Tech Rho Gamma chapter of Sigma Tau Delta hosted their 10th annual “Shakespeare Day” to recognize the 400th anniversary of his death. The day also marked what many historians believe to be Shakespeare’s 452nd birthday.



“Shakespeare Day is about bringing awareness to not only the English department, but also the rest of campus,” said Sigma Tau Delta’s president, Amber Jurgensen. “The thing is, everyone knows Shakespeare, whether it be from film, music, or television — he is in some way involved in everyone’s life.”



The daylong celebration was held in the Shakespeare Garden, the courtyard of George T. Madison Hall.



The festival consisted of twelve events which honored the late dramatist, including a puppet show, a sword fight, several plays, award presentations, the reading of sonnets in French, English and Spanish and a keynote speaker. Some Tech students were even given the opportunity to present their Shakespearean essays throughout the day.



The keynote speaker, Ernest Rufleth, is an assistant professor of Literature at the university. His speech was followe d by a paper presentation by Taylor Parker, an undergraduate English major.



Parker’s paper was titled “Do as Men Do: Women at “Home” in Shakespeare.” According to a statement released by the Honors Society, the piece had previously won second place in “The Bard Award,” an award category for Shakespearian papers created this year to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’ death.



Scott Levin, assistant professor of English and co-adviser of the Honor Society, said Shakespeare Day was a great way to bring the various departments in the College of Liberal Arts together while also illustrating Shakespeare’s lasting influence on modern life.



“Shakespeare is the perfect symbol for what happened here today,” Levin said. “The English, History, Language, and Theatre departments all pulled together to create something for everyone to enjoy. That’s what Shakespeare did too.”



Anahy Hernandez, a senior English major, said Shakespeare Day is an extremely important event for English majors as it is a way to share knowledge with their friends.



“William Shakespeare is a landmark person in history,” she said. “A lot of pop culture is influenced by him, so on a day like this we can all kind of get involved and share what we know.”



Jurgensen said Shakespeare Day would not be possible without the support from the community and other Tech students.



“We appreciate how much everyone get’s involved,” she said. “We all help out to make this happen each year.”


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