Animating Shakespeare’s poetry

More poetry for you today from the TED Ed series that I first featured here.

Though Shakespeare wrote lots of stand-alone poems (154 sonnets published in a quarto in 1609, for starters) “All the world’s a stage” is a passage from the play As You Like it,* the comedy that Shakespeare completed in 1560.


I hope Shakespeare will forgive the fact that the first time I watched this, the words floated by, getting some of my attention, but the illustrations had me absolutely hooked (maritime references provided as a bonus). I couldn’t get enough!

The next time I watched the video I had even more appreciation for the artistic talent that was able to conjure such strong images and tell so much story with a deceptively simple technique. I felt like I could hear the cry of gulls, and taste the sea air. (I didn’t have a lot of vocabulary to explain why I found it so effective; art-student Loquita taught me terms like economy of line, lost-and-found lines, etc.) Animation and design work on the video were by Jérémie Balais and Jeffig Le Bars.†

I’ll be featuring more poems in coming months. If you have an absolute favorite, send it my way!


*Though I haven’t acted in it myself, I’ve had lots of connections with the play over the years, including sewing costumes for the production that Loquita was in several years ago. The film versions I’ve seen most often are the 1978 BBC production starring Helen Mirren, and the 2006 production starring Bryce Dallas Howard and directed by Kenneth Branagh. It’s also the play that I had been misquoting in my head for years, and that I thought of when I devised my current blogging schedule. Do you have a favorite version?

†These two were also the animators for the video accompanying “To Make Use of Water,” featured in my previous post on the Ted Ed series. Balais has an amazing demo reel here, and Le Bars has an impressive collection of works here.


[Images: x 2,]

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