Shakespeare

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[edit] General Information

History Documentary hosted by Simon Schama, published by BBC in 2012 - English narration

[edit] Cover

Image: Schama-s-Shakespeare-Cover.jpg

[edit] Information

Simon Schama argues that it is impossible to understand how Shakespeare came to belong 'to all time' without understanding just how much he was of his time.

[edit] This England

Schama explores how, in his history plays, Shakespeare created a vision of England that still rings true today. Against the backdrop of the Reformation, Shakespeare began to dramatize English history and the English character in a new and unprecedented way. From his first blockbuster, Henry VI, he made sure that his England was not just a place where King and Queens strutted and preened, but where ordinary Englishmen and women took centre stage.

It was inclusive vision that Shakespeare expanded upon in his masterpiece - Henry IV - a play which presents England in glorious technicolour: kings and pickpockets, country squires and common prostitutes, corrupt knights and ragged soldiers. And at the centre of it all is the outsized figure of Sir John Falstaff - a character that transfixed Elizabethan audiences and still moves us today.

Falstaff is Shakespeare's most stupendous creation; an outsized dream of Englishness who embodies more purely the essence of English irreverence, generosity and wit that any of the characters with whom he shares the stage.

As well as this, an extraordinary cast of actors deliver some of Shakespeare's most moving and profound soliloquies.

[edit] Hollow Crowns

Schama explores Shakespeare's attitude to the other great subject of his day - kingship. He will look at the ways in which Shakespeare's most profound tragedies - Richard II, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear - may have been inspired by his own experiences writing for the courts of Elizabeth and James I.

Elizabeth - the consummate royal actress in decline - was to prove a powerful muse, while James's own obsessions and inviolable sense of his own grandeur, inspired Shakespeare to probe deeper into the royal mind than anyone before or since. It was as if seeing their frailty, vanity and folly first-hand fired his imagination - inspiring him to explore the great themes of power and ambition, in plays which show kings murdering their way to the throne and going mad.

Shakespeare dared to strip away the mask of royalty to reveal the flawed men underneath. Somehow, he got away with it - and revealed profound truths not just about kings but about the rest of us too.

Aswell as this an extraordinary cast of actors deliver some of Shakespeare's most moving and profound soliloquies.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4.1
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 18
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Video Resolution: 1280x720
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC
  • Audio Bitrate: 160 Kbps ABR 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 59 mins
  • Framerate: 25FPS
  • Number of Parts: 2
  • Part Size: 1.34 GB (average)
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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