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Shakespeare in Italy [DVD]
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Shakespeare was in love with Italy. A third of his plays are set in the country. For the Elizabethan playwright, it was the stage on which to explore his greatest themes - love and war, fidelity and betrayal, and above all, politics - and a treasure house of legend and stories that fuelled his imagination. Combining Italian travelogue with revelations about the bard's most famous works, Francesco da Mosto visits the spectacular locations, traces the Italian myths and reveals how a long dead, foreign playwright's imagination continues to influence and shape real Italian cities, even now. Francesco reveals the debt Shakespeare owes to Italian theatre and explores how Italy acted as a cloak for Shakespeare’s most dangerous observations about Elizabethan London.
Taking in Verona, Venice and Rome, the programme explores some of Shakespeare’s most well known plays including Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Othello and Julius Caesar. Meeting historians, actors, and exploring the brilliant locations that pepper Shakespeare’s plays, this series offers an unexpected slant on some of the best known stage creations.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a fresh and intriguing new take of the bard, as the Venetian historian explores Shakespeare's fascination with Italy and his connection to this country.
The local stories and legends which inspired his most famous plays (a third of them are set in Italy and many others drew from Italian sources and used Italian characters).
Da Mosto highlights some of those Italian links which might even suggest that Shakespeare could have travelled to Italy, and the insane theory that Shakespeare could have been Italian himself (though, that is so far-fetched that it's obviously treated as a joke).
Italy once again comes across as possibly the most beautiful country in the world and the cinematography in the series make it look even more gorgeous and more romantic than it already is. Venice, Padua, Verona, Florence, Rome, Naples, Messina are just some of the places he visited (all of which are now on my check list of places to go to!).
Accompanied by an evocative score, this is a charming, insightful and yet light-hearted new look at Shakespeare's work.
Da Mosto, with his soothing voice and kind manners, is engaging as ever and has enough twinkle in his eyes to leave a smile on your face throughout the entire series.
Emma Thompson, Mark Rylance, Ciaran Hinds, Samuel Barnet and Susannah Fielding all make an appearance, contributing with readings from the most famous Italian plays.Read more ›
If you are a Shakespeare enthusiast you will learn so much more from this particular DVD and you will be surprised at the contents and even Mr.Shakespeare's heritage---yes--- 'heritage' as he spent possibly 7 years in Italy and possibly was born in Italy, or so they say---but don't take my word for it, buy the DVD and watch it, as it all makes sense.
I will buy as many DVD productions by this man is willing to make......
Thank you Amazon for giving me the chance of discovering Francesco da Mosto and his travels.
The first episode is entitled ‘The Land of Love’. Francesco claims that Shakespeare set more than a third of his plays in Italy, where “Our Italian cities were like exotic stage sets.” He starts, of course, in his native Venice before moving on to Padua (‘The Taming of the Shrew’), Bassano (for the dark lady of the Sonnets), Verona (‘Romeo & Juliet’), and Sicily (‘Much Ado about Nothing’), before finally returning to Venice for ‘Othello’.
The second episode – ‘Land of Fortune’ – explores the world of Shakespearian politics and ideas. Thus we have ‘The Merchant of Venice’, ‘Julius Caesar’ and ‘Antony & Cleopatra’ (both Rome), and ‘The Tempest’ (Naples). Along the way we explore Machiavelli in Florence, and Francesco also links Shakespeare’s plays to events in contemporary England, such as ‘Julius Caesar’ being used as an analogy of Elizabethan government, and ‘Antony & Cleopatra’ (where Octavius is actually the centre of the play) having something to say about the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Plays not explored include ‘Titus Andronicus’ nor ‘Coriolanus’: there are no doubt others.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Despite its interesting content, the smarmy narcissistic arrogance of this presenter effectively ruins a programme about whose content, of course, he is entirely ignorant, being... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Giles Penfold
Another great DVDs from Francesco.his way of presenting is so easy going.looking forward to any more he might do.Published 11 months ago by mcqueen
We saw this originally on TV and I bought it recently on DVD for my husband's birthday. We both love this presenter's TV series. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Helen
A lovely tour around the places featured by Shakespeare, with excellent background informationPublished 15 months ago by Frances McLean