Will’s Interest in the Bard of Stratford

Harold Bloom once said of Shakespeare’s characters: that they are “not larger than life; they are life’s largeness.”


As a Teaching Member of the Folger Shakespeare Library as well as a member of the Shakespeare Association of America, Professor Pewitt has aims to bring the most relevant modern perspectives in line with a historical appreciation of the influence, intrigue, and insights of William Shakespeare. In both his curricular efforts (such as when teaching ENL 3333 for the Department of English) or his extracurricular projects (such as those with UNF Shakespeare) his goal is to open topics like Jacobean drama or the Elizabethan world-picture to students so that such Early Modern subjects can be seen as resonant with our Post-Modern era.

Like many of his students, he first came in contact with Shakespeare in his early teens but only truly engaged with their nuance and value years later when appreciating the richness of the phrases, the depth of characters, and the range of voices so uniquely adroit in Shakespeare’s corpus. Professor Pewitt feels fortunate to have reengaged years later with the Bard of Stratford and the editors, actors, and scholars who have helped him to see the continuingly evolving meanings within the Shakespearean canon. His favorite academics include Marjorie Garber, Northrup Frye, and Harold Goddard whose experiential approaches to the plays bring out what Harold Bloom once said of Shakespeare’s characters: that they are “not larger than life; they are life’s largeness.”

Professor Pewitt’s Shakespearean work at UNF include directing and producing an original multilingual version of Othello in Fall ’23,  authoring a unique mashup of over a dozen Shakespeare plays that revitalized tragic heroines called The Mask of Night in Fall ’22, and serving as producer, script adaptor, and dramaturg on a number of other productions in Tragedy and Comedy. He has taken students to conferences, partnered on production with under-resourced high schools, and has worked with hundreds of undergraduates to find exploratory ways of bringing poetic drama from the page to the stage.