• 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
  • 10.00am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Shakespeare at the Front

Shakespeare and War exhibition
Join Dr Amy Lidster as she explores how Shakespeare has been used on the front lines of conflicts around the world and why he continues to matter for those most immediately affected by war.

While we may be more familiar with Shakespeare’s use on the home front by those at a distance from the front lines, the dramatist has also played a vital role for those directly involved in war and combat.

Across the centuries, Shakespeare has been used by soldiers and civilians in war zones to boost morale and resolve, to consider the justification and conduct of war, to escape imaginatively from their surroundings, and to think deeply about the realities of conflict.

Sometimes, soldiers and civilians use Shakespeare to reflect on their personal experiences; other times, they imagine and address a wider audience of external governments, states and allies.

In this insightful talk, which coincides with the final weeks of the National Army Museum’s linked exhibition, Dr Amy Lidster will offer an opportunity to reflect on the ongoing significance of Shakespeare for those involved in global conflicts.

Among other contexts, she will consider the use of Shakespeare by Patriot and Loyalist forces during the American War of Independence, soldiers in the trenches during the First World War, and Ukrainians still resisting Russia’s ongoing invasion. 

About the speaker

Amy Lidster

Dr Amy Lidster is Departmental Lecturer in English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, Visiting Fellow at King’s College London, and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

She is the author of several books, including co-editing 'Shakespeare at War: A Material History', a companion book linked to the exhibition ‘Shakespeare and War’ at the National Army Museum, which she co-curated.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."