Shakespeare: Staging the World

Presented in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of the London 2012 Festival, this major exhibition aims to bring to life the world that Shakespeare knew.

The displays, drawn from the Museum's own collections and from across Europe, will include works of art, maps, tapestries, armour, books, medals and more.

The Lyte Jewel, an exquisite construction of enamelled gold with diamonds and containing a portrait of James I by Nicholas Hilliard, was presented to Thomas Lyte in 1610 in thanks for his royal genealogy tracing James' descent, through Banquo, from Brutus, the mythical Trojan founder of Britain. James VI and I claimed descent from Brutus and Aeneas of Troy via Banquo, whose murder is a key element in Shakespeare's Macbeth.


Venue details

British Museum Great Russell Street London WC1B 3DG 020 7323 8299

Entry details

£7 with National Art Pass (standard entry £14)

Open daily from 10am until 5.30pm.

Open late on Fridays until 8.30pm.

Final entry is 70 minutes before closing.

Call +44(0)20 7323 8849 or visit the British Museum's booking page.

What the critics say


It is an exhibition which takes risks. But it works triumphantly.


A show that uses both artefacts and film to immerse you in the playwright's life and times.


The Bard's life, times and imagination are gloriously revived with this vast display of objects and curiosities


When I say the show marches Shakespeare down from Olympus, I mean it as a compliment