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Xavier Magazine | September 23, 2017

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The Office: Niamh O’Leary

The Office: Niamh O’Leary

Assistant professor of English Niamh (pronounced Niev) O’Leary loves everything Shakespeare. She teaches it, researches it, reads it, studies it, writes about it. And she collects it. A trip to her office uncovers a variety of Shakespeare stuff, such as:

• Skull from the Tower of London gift shop. Hamlet held the skull of Yorick, the court jester he knew as a boy, and philosophized about mortality and living a moral life.

• Bloody Mug from the Globe Theatre gift shop in London. The quote on the mug, “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!” is from Macbeth.

• Shakespeare figurines—an action figure, a bobblehead and Steampunk Willie, a limited edition figurine made for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s steampunk-style production of Titus Andronicus.

• Map of Shakespeare’s Britain from 1611 published in National Geographic in 1965 includes names of plays printed over the locations where they took place—Henry VI at Yorke, Macbeth at Byrname Wood, Richard III at Bosworth Field.

• Empty wine bottle with “Exit, Pursued by a Bear” on the label. The words refer to the scene in A Winter’s Tale where a bear kills Antigonus. O’Leary performed the scene for actor Kyle MacLachlan, who owns the winery, before realizing he only wanted her to look at his framed Shakespeare picture. So she felt obliged to buy the wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon, which he signed and she drank.

• Poster of Shakespeare quotes with words he coined that are still in use today, like “arch-villain,” “cold-blooded” and “eyeball.”

• ABCs of Shakespeare poster where F stands for “Falstaff.”

• Necklace of a G clef inscribed with the first lines from Twelfth Night: “If music be the food of love, play on.”

• Light switch cover with drawing of Shakespeare on it.

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