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A history series - it focuses not on the plays, but on the history and sets the life of the poet in the extraordinary times in which he lived. We are introduced to the dark world of Queen Elizabeth's police state - a time of surveillance, militarism and foreign wars. We are reminded that Shakespeare lived through the Spanish Armada, the Gunpowder Plot, the colonisation of the New World and the beginnings of British power in America. But most importantly Shakespeare also lived through Englands Cultural Revolution: an enforced split with the old medieval English spirit world which was to lead the English people into a brave new Protestant future. A split which defined Shakespeares life -and our modern world.
Running time: 240 mins approx.
Instead, Wood takes us on an exhilarating journey through Elizabethan and Jacobean England, building a picture of his subject through painstaking reference to the climate of the age: a police state in which Shakespeare's family was devastated by the persecution of Catholics. Social, familial and political influences are all unravelled and pieced together, counterpointed with scenes from the plays--RSC actors conveniently to hand--and the life and times of the travelling actor and playwright are evoked in front of our eyes, becoming tangible and relevant.
Wood gives us the chance to consider the plays in context, products of a great mind living in interesting times, rather than in academic isolation. It's a compelling tale, full of bloody danger, sex, celebrity and social history, and densely packed with layers of detail. Wood's great gift is to tell it in such an accessible way and without the sense of superiority that some of his peers bring to popular history. --Piers Ford
Really intersting. Great buy for anyone who is interested in Shakespeare. Simply the best!!Published 1 month ago by MME Catherine CHurchill
I missed this when it was on BBC. I found it really helpful for a Futurelearn distant learning course I was doing.Published 1 month ago by Cartoon Man
Very entertaining and informative documentary about Shakespeare presented in his inimitable style by Michael Wood. Highly recommended.Published 3 months ago by Speedigee
I purchased this for my father and had it sent to him in Florida. He owns a Sony dvd player, which would not play this dvd, because of a difference in region code. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mel
Wood shows us here a thrilling account of Shakespeare life and times.Wood digs deep into Elisabethan England and gives us a good glimpse of the Bard's life in Stratfford and London... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Victor Asensi Alvarez
Really good! The scene where they showed phots of houses that had been pulled down in relatively recent times - that Shakespeare would have know was unforgettable!Published 10 months ago by G. C. Palmer
Michael Wood tried to go in search of Shakespeare and he managed to give us a picture of his time. New things emerged, new documents about Shakespeare and his family. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Georgia Hasegan Brighton
I don't want o come over all Michael Gove here but this DVD is a great way to get the kids understanding and appreciating the bard. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Lance percival
Michael Wood's fantastic 4 part documentary on William Shakespeare travels through England looking at the history and time in which Shakespeare would have lived. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Mr. M. Johnson