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Shakespeare Uncovered

Shakespeare Uncovered

This series combines history, biography, iconic performance, analysis and the personal passion of its hosts -- Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Irons, Derek jacobi, Trevor Nunn, Joely Richardson and David Tennant -- to tell the story behind the stories of Shakespeare's greatest plays. Each episode combines interviews with actors, directors and scholars, along with visits to key locations, clips from some of the most celebrated film and television adaptations and illustrative excerpts from the plays especially staged for the series at Shakespeare's Globe in London.

Latest Episodes

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//player.pbs.org/partnerplayer/fFe69O6kiKZWTXRwSxBfgA==/?topbar=false&end=0&endscreen=true&start=0&autoplay=false Sir Antony Sher unveils the life of Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” comparing the historical king’s reputation with the play’s enduring portrait of ruthless ambition and vengeance. /episodes/get/86057 /episode/86057 “Richard III” with Sir Antony Sher /episode-player/86057

Shakespeare's Richard III is one of the most infamous villains of all time - and one of the most relished. This episode explains how Shakespeare created both a loathsome and brilliant manipulator, as well as a real man who speaks to every age. Shakespeare's history plays are at least as much play as history. They hinge on character, on strength and on frailty, and what humans will resort to in order to achieve power.

Air date:
Tue, 10/09/2018 - 02:15
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//player.pbs.org/partnerplayer/X75zXe5B6w5kfmZgC1r_bQ==/?topbar=false&end=0&endscreen=true&start=0&autoplay=false Simon Russell Beale uncovers the romance and betrayals of “The Winter’s Tale” and shows that in this play Shakespeare offers something for which everyone longs: the ability to make amends for an irreversible mistake. /episodes/get/86056 /episode/86056 “The Winter’s Tale” with Simon Russell Beale /episode-player/86056

Uncover the romance and betrayals in “The Winter’s Tale” with host Simon Russell Beale.

Air date:
Tue, 10/09/2018 - 01:00
Expired

Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is a play that upholds liberty against tyranny. But what is tyranny? And who decides? Shakespeare doesn't make it simple. In order to preserve the freedom of the Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, an "over-mighty" leader, is assassinated by Roman Senators led by Caesar's friend Brutus. Caesar wanted to become an emperor. Is Brutus a traitor or a great hero and defender of liberty? Brian Cox explores how Julius Caesar is Shakespeare's "American" play, showing how easy it is for a "free" republic to fall into corruption.

Air date:
Wed, 10/03/2018 - 07:37
Expired

Shakespeare probably never met a Jew. Three centuries before The Merchant of Venice was written, England became the first country in medieval Europe to expel its Jewish population. Abraham addresses the ubiquitous anti-Semitism that characterized Europe in Shakespeare's time. Comparing Shylock to the stock Jewish villain of the day, the episode looks at the efforts over the years, for better or worse, to treat him more as a victim and rescue Shakespeare from any taint of anti-Semitism.

Air date:
Thu, 09/27/2018 - 01:30
Expired

Measure for Measure takes an astonishingly timely look at sexual morality, hypocrisy and harassment. Shakespeare asks us to "measure" the price of liberty against the moral and social cost of libertinism. It's a play about vice, the law and sexual corruption at the highest levels, and, for nearly two centuries, it was considered too racy to be produced on the English stage. Garai explains why there is no light-hearted happy ending in this play, but something much darker and more complex - truly a sexual tale for our time.

Air date:
Thu, 09/27/2018 - 01:26
Expired

Explore this exquisite comedy of comparison and contrast, as well as what the ultimate "ado" about "nothing" really means, with Academy Award-winning actress Helen Hunt. Much Ado About Nothing is one of 15 plays that Shakespeare set in Italy.

Air date:
Mon, 09/24/2018 - 22:15
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