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Shakespeare Archive Rhetorical Analysis

“Global Shakespeare’s” is a curation of videos from Shakespeare performances across the globe, it also includes other related resources such as essays, interviews, and scripts. This website was created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), under the school of humanities arts and social sciences. Peter S. Donaldson is the director and editor-in-chief and Alexa Alice Joubin is the Co-Director.

The purpose of “Global Shakespeare’s” is to provide a collection of videos that capture the many different performances of Shakespeare’s work as they have been produced in a range of different countries. It enables the audience to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse ways in which these old English masterpieces have been brought to life in many languages-over many years. I believe that the primary audience of this archive is English scholars and professors who have an interest in William Shakespeare’s work and the ways in which it has been performed. I also think that performers and directors who are looking for visual reference and inspiration for their own upcoming Shakespeare shows may take an interest to this archive.

This website holds quite a bit of information and I found that they did an excellent job of organizing it. I was very impressed with their spatial arrangement. As their content spans past just videos and into further education tools, they provide pictures and short descriptions for the user to explore before clicking on a link. It gives you a taste of each feature before you commit, this way you are not tumbling down a rabbit hole of links as you click and exit each one. Instead, helpful previews are provided so that the user can easily navigate through the various avenues of information that are available. Everything is very clean cut; I did not feel overwhelmed while I explored this website and the different sections that it offers.

Another aspect of this website that I admire is how they have a chart on the “About the Archive” page that provides the various countries where the featured shows take place. While the focus of this website is on providing a wide global collection of Shakespeare performances, this chart makes for a great addition. It visually enables the viewer to better grasp how diverse the collection is.

One thing I did not like however was the site guide, I found it kind of strange. The “WAYS TO GET STARTED” and “ADDITIONAL RESOURCES” graphics seemed unnecessary, looking at the website’s table of contents is self-explanatory enough without these add ons. I could understand how the “ANATOMY OF A PRODUCTION PAGE” may be useful, however there was a bar beneath this for users to email URLs and notes which I found very oddly placed. These website additions do not contribute enough to be present on the website and instead make it look sloppy and unprofessional.

For our own performance archive, my main take away was that we should use visual links, descriptions, and graphics to better help the user navigate through our content. However, with that being said this should be done with intention and not at random so that we can maintain a professional and helpful, rather than cluttered, website.

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