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The BBC Shakespeare Plays

Shakespeare is rightly called the world's greatest playwright for the soaring beauty of his language, for his profound insight into human nature, for the truths he dramatized and for the realism of the characters he created. He was, and remains, a superb entertainer. Featuring some of Britain's most distinguished theatrical talent, these programs are an ideal choice for libraries, literature classes, and for continuing personal enjoyment. Ambrose Video is to proud to be the exclusive distributor of Shakespeare's plays which are so richly rewarding to our viewers. We have taken as much care as possible to restore the masters (which are over 20 years old) for the best viewing experience possible. Plays purchased are viewable both in their entirety and by act.
All's Well that Ends WellRunning Time: 2:21:00

Here Shakespeare uses one of his favorite devices--trickery. The young countess resorts to chicanery to win her husband's respect. This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Helena, Bertram.

Chapter List
1.) All's Well That Ends Well Act 1
00:27:46
2.) All's Well That Ends Well Act 2
00:36:48
3.) All's Well That Ends Well Act 3
00:22:52
4.) All's Well That Ends Well Act 4
00:30:46
5.) All's Well That Ends Well Act 5
00:23:26
Antony & CleopatraRunning Time: 2:51:00

The star, Jane Lapotaire, not only looks similar to the historical Queen of Egypt, but has the range to capture her many facets. This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Octavian and Leidus and taking place in Rome and Egypt.

Chapter List
1.) Antony and Cleopatra Act 1
00:27:19
2.) Antony and Cleopatra Act 2
00:38:42
3.) Antony and Cleopatra Act 3
00:33:42
4.) Antony and Cleopatra Act 4
00:36:15
5.) Antony and Cleopatra Act 5
00:34:09
As You Like ItRunning Time: 2:31:00

Is there a "natural difference" between a duke's daughter and a commoner? Are men really stronger than women? Or is it just society's role? Stars Helen Mirren and Richard Pasco. This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Frederick, Rosalind, Orlando and, Celia and starring Helen Mirren.

Chapter List
1.) As You Like It Act 1
00:33:10
2.) As You Like It Act 2
00:30:27
3.) As You Like It Act 3
00:38:02
4.) As You Like It Act 4
00:20:41
5.) As You Like It Act 5
00:28:19
The Comedy of ErrorsRunning Time: 1:51:00

Roger Daltrey, lead singer of the band "The Who," stars in Shakespeare's shortest play.  This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with characters Egeon, Antipholus, Dromio and Emilia.

Chapter List
1.) Comedy of Errors Act 1
00:18:22
2.) Comedy of Errors Act 2
00:18:36
3.) Comedy of Errors Act 3
00:18:40
4.) Comedy of Errors Act 4
-00:35:47
5.) Comedy of Errors Act 5
01:29:24
CoriolanusRunning Time: 2:25:00

In his last tragedy, Shakespeare studies the character of a soldier. Stars Alan Howard. This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Caius Martinus, Menenius and Volumnia.

Chapter List
1.) Coriolanus Act 1
00:34:51
2.) Coriolanus Act 2
00:23:18
3.) Coriolanus Act 3
00:31:18
4.) Coriolanus Act 4
00:21:32
5.) Coriolanus Act 5
00:34:01
CymbelineRunning Time: 2:55:00

King Cymbeline's evil second queen tries to force Princess Imogen to marry her own son. This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Posthumous, Imogen and Iachimo and starring Claire Bloom and Helen Mirren

Chapter List
1.) Cymbeline Act 1
00:37:31
2.) Cymbeline Act 2
00:28:14
3.) Cymbeline Act 3
00:35:33
4.) Cymbeline Act 4
00:24:40
5.) Cymbeline Act 5
00:48:36
HamletRunning Time: 3:35:00

In this richly costumed production, the greatest tragedy ever written maintains all the tension of a murder mystery. Derek Jacobi is a superb choice as Hamlet. This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Claudius, Gertrude and Ophelia, Patrick Stewart and Claire Bloom.

Chapter List
1.) Hamlet Act 1
00:46:07
2.) Hamlet Act 2
00:37:04
3.) Hamlet Act 3
00:52:45
4.) Hamlet Act 4
00:37:21
5.) Hamlet Act 5
00:41:36
Henry IV, Part 1Running Time: 2:28:00

The boisterous Falstaff leads Prince Hal, the heir to the throne, through London's lowlife taverns. Starring Jon Finch, Anthony Quayle. This is a William Shakespeare history with the characters Duke of Gloucester and Cardinal Beaufort.

Chapter List
1.) Henry IV Part 1 Act 1
00:30:11
2.) Henry IV Part 1 Act 2
00:37:33
3.) Henry IV Part 1 Act 3
00:30:58
4.) Henry IV Part 1 Act 4
00:16:31
5.) Henry IV Part 1 Act 5
00:32:55
Henry IV, Part 2Running Time: 2:31:00

The death of Henry IV, banishment of Falstaff and coronation of Hal as Henry V. Stars Jon Finch, Anthony Quayle, David Gwillim. This is a William Shakespeare history with the characters Prince Hal and Falstaff.

Chapter List
1.) Henry IV Part 2 Act 1
00:18:22
2.) Henry IV Part 2 Act 2
00:33:59
3.) Henry IV Part 2 Act 3
00:46:50
4.) Henry IV Part 2 Act 4
00:30:34
5.) Henry IV Part 2 Act 5
00:20:41
Henry VRunning Time: 2:44:00

England's most admired national hero, Henry V unites his people, invades France, deals with traitors and cements the peace. This is a William Shakespeare history with the characters Duke of Gloster, Lord Scroop, Katherine and Quickly.

Chapter List
1.) Henry V Act 1
00:21:57
2.) Henry V Act 2
00:24:34
3.) Henry V Act 3
00:36:47
4.) Henry V Act 4
00:57:49
5.) Henry V Act 5
00:22:48
Henry VI, Part 1Running Time: 3:07:00

First of a trilogy, recreating King Henry's early days. Starring Peter Benson, Trevor Peacock.  This is a William Shakespeare history with the characters Talbot and Richard.

Chapter List
1.) Henry VI Part 1 Act 1
00:43:29
2.) Henry VI Part 1 Act 2
00:33:44
3.) Henry VI Part 1 Act 3
00:31:19
4.) Henry VI Part 1 Act 4
00:41:02
5.) Henry VI Part 1 Act 5
00:37:36
Henry VI, Part 2Running Time: 3:33:00

Henry marries Lady Margaret, but she despises his meekness and takes Suffolk as a lover. This is a William Shakespeare history with the characters Margaret of Anjou and Richard.

Chapter List
1.) Henry VI Part 2 Act 1
00:45:51
2.) Henry VI Part 2 Act 2
00:30:59
3.) Henry VI Part 2 Act 3
00:48:26
4.) Henry VI Part 2 Act 4
00:57:29
5.) Henry VI Part 2 Act 5
00:30:13
Henry VI, Part 3Running Time: 3:31:00

York wins the War of Roses and forces Henry to give him succession.  This is a William Shakespeare history with the characters Richard, Margaret of Anjou, Edward and Lord Clifford.

Chapter List
1.) Henry VI Part 3 Act 1
00:39:57
2.) Henry VI Part 3 Act 2
00:51:10
3.) Henry VI Part 3 Act 3
00:35:52
4.) Henry VI Part 3 Act 4
00:32:53
5.) Henry VI Part 3 Act 5
00:50:34
Henry VIIIRunning Time: 2:46:00

Filmed at Henry's favorite place, Leeds Castle, enacted in the very rooms the King inhabited, 500 years ago. Stars Claire Bloom, John Stride. This is a William Shakespeare history with the characters Cardinal Wosley and Queen Katharine.

Chapter List
1.) Henry VIII Act 1
00:36:58
2.) Henry VIII Act 2
00:41:02
3.) Henry VIII Act 3
00:38:29
4.) Henry VIII Act 4
00:17:49
5.) Henry VIII Act 5
00:30:41
Julius CaesarRunning Time: 2:41:00

Breaking dramatic conventions, Shakespeare creates neither a clearcut hero nor a villain. Starring Charles Gray as Caesar. This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Octavius, Marcus Antonius, Cicero and Brutus.

Chapter List
1.) Julius Caesar Act 1
00:33:53
2.) Julius Caesar Act 2
00:31:07
3.) Julius Caesar Act 3
00:40:29
4.) Julius Caesar Act 4
00:25:45
5.) Julius Caesar Act 5
00:29:50
King JohnRunning Time: 2:38:00

Here Shakespeare rewrote another's work, the only time he uses such a source instead of the chronicles themselves. Stars Claire Bloom.  This is a William Shakespeare history with the character King Phillip.

Chapter List
1.) King John Act 1
00:15:44
2.) King John Act 2
00:34:20
3.) King John Act 3
00:40:12
4.) King John Act 4
00:32:54
5.) King John Act 5
00:34:48
King LearRunning Time: 3:06:00

Crisply paced, with an exemplary cast. Starring Michael Hodern, Anton Lesser.  This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Cordelia, Edgar and Regan.

Chapter List
1.) King Lear Act 1
00:52:09
2.) King Lear Act 2
00:32:15
3.) King Lear Act 3
00:32:06
4.) King Lear Act 4
00:43:52
5.) King Lear Act 5
00:25:09
Love's Labour's LostRunning Time: 2:00:00

A splendid satire -- some of Shakespeare's best early poetry. This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Ferdinand, Berowne, Longaville and Dumaine.

Chapter List
1.) Love's Labour's Lost Act 1
00:19:29
2.) Love's Labour's Lost Act 2
00:11:05
3.) Love's Labour's Lost Act 3
00:08:26
4.) Love's Labour's Lost Act 4
00:30:04
5.) Love's Labour's Lost Act 5
00:51:11
MacbethRunning Time: 2:28:00

This savage tragedy is one of Shakespeare's most enduringly popular. Starring Nicol Williamson and Jane Lapotaire. This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Banquo and Macduff.

Chapter List
1.) Macbeth Act 1
00:33:33
2.) Macbeth Act 2
00:23:37
3.) Macbeth Act 3
00:27:29
4.) Macbeth Act 4
00:32:45
5.) Macbeth Act 5
00:30:18
Measure For MeasureRunning Time: 2:48:00

The trickiest sort of play -- a comedy with tragic relief. The New York Times says "Kate Nelligan is the image idealized faultlessness."  This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Angelo, Claudio, Isabella and Vincentio.

Chapter List
1.) Measure for Measure Act 1
00:21:20
2.) Measure for Measure Act 2
00:38:25
3.) Measure for Measure Act 3
00:28:57
4.) Measure for Measure Act 4
00:27:24
5.) Measure for Measure Act 5
00:29:31
Merchant of VeniceRunning Time: 2:37:00

This play presents contrasts in the character Shylock. Is he villian, buffoon or tragic hero? Starring Warren Mitchell, Gemma Jones. This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Bassanio, Portia, Nerissa and Gratiano.

Chapter List
1.) Merchant of Venice Act 1
00:27:06
2.) Merchant of Venice Act 2
00:41:48
3.) Merchant of Venice Act 3
00:38:05
4.) Merchant of Venice Act 4
00:30:03
5.) Merchant of Venice Act 5
00:19:56
Merry Wives of WindsorRunning Time: 2:48:00

Queen Elizabeth herself is said to have requested the return of Falstaff. Here he tries to seduce two respectable wives. Stars Ben Kingsley.  This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Falstaff, Ford and Page.

Chapter List
1.) Merry Wives of Windsor Act 1
00:33:14
2.) Merry Wives of Windsor Act 2
00:36:46
3.) Merry Wives of Windsor Act 3
00:41:16
4.) Merry Wives of Windsor Act 4
00:31:22
5.) Merry Wives of Windsor Act 5
00:25:03
A Midsummer Night's DreamRunning Time: 1:52:00

An extraordinary production of an enduring comedy. The strong cast features Helen Mirren and Peter McEnery.  This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Lysander, Hermia, Helena, Deuretrius.

Chapter List
1.) A Midsummer's Night Dream Act 1
00:18:42
2.) A Midsummer's Night Dream Act 2
00:24:01
3.) A Midsummer's Night Dream Act 3
00:31:17
4.) A Midsummer's Night Dream Act 4
00:16:32
5.) A Midsummer's Night Dream Act 5
00:21:17
Much Ado About NothingRunning Time: 2:29:00

The sparring wit of the confirmed bachelor, Benedick, and the haughty lady Beatrice seems to delight audiences more every year.  This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Benedick, Beatrice, Claudio, Hero and Don Pedro.

Chapter List
1.) Much Ado About Nothing Act 1
00:18:28
2.) Much Ado About Nothing Act 2
00:38:03
3.) Much Ado About Nothing Act 3
00:28:05
4.) Much Ado About Nothing Act 4
00:25:56
5.) Much Ado About Nothing Act 5
00:37:54
OthelloRunning Time: 3:24:00

Perhaps his greatest triumph as a stage play. Evil Iago plants doubt in Othello's mind about Desdemona, and audiences are spellbound. Stars Anthony Hopkins, Bob Hoskins as Iago.  This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Iago and Desdemona.

Chapter List
1.) Othello Act 1
00:35:51
2.) Othello Act 2
00:36:51
3.) Othello Act 3
00:43:56
4.) Othello Act 4
00:43:25
5.) Othello Act 5
00:43:42
PericlesRunning Time: 2:58:00

The Prince of Tyre, who flees upon discovering his King in an incestuous relationship. Starring Mike Gwilym and Amanda Redman.  This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Antiochus, Marina and Thaisa.

Chapter List
1.) Pericles Act 1
00:33:39
2.) Pericles Act 2
00:38:59
3.) Pericles Act 3
00:26:10
4.) Pericles Act 4
00:42:01
5.) Pericles Act 5
00:36:46
Richard IIRunning Time: 2:38:00

A stellar cast includes Derek Jacobi, Sir John Gielgud, and Dame Wendy Hiller.  This is a William Shakespeare history with the characters Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray.

Chapter List
1.) Richard II Act 1
00:50:45
2.) Richard II Act 2
00:18:31
3.) Richard II Act 3
00:34:34
4.) Richard II Act 4
00:24:42
5.) Richard II Act 5
00:29:41
Richard IIIRunning Time: 3:50:00

A huge success in its day, this play portrays an intricate period in English history.  This is a William Shakespeare history with the character Edward.

Chapter List
1.) Richard III Act 1
01:00:00
2.) Richard III Act 2
00:27:59
3.) Richard III Act 3
00:50:58
4.) Richard III Act 4
00:49:48
5.) Richard III Act 5
00:40:44
Romeo and JulietRunning Time: 2:47:00

A "hit" for over 400 years. It expresses love in its infinite variety more than any other work in the English language. Stars Sir John Gielgud.  This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Tybalt, Mercutio, Capulet and Montague.

Chapter List
1.) Romeo and Juliet Act 1
00:40:48
2.) Romeo and Juliet Act 2
00:33:18
3.) Romeo and Juliet Act 3
00:15:59
4.) Romeo and Juliet Act 4
00:53:20
5.) Romeo and Juliet Act 5
00:24:31
Taming of the ShrewRunning Time: 2:07:00

John Cleese, of Monty Python, portrays Petruchio to unanimous acclaim: "an object lesson in serving Shakespeare to a present-day audience."  This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Katharine, Petruchio and Bianca.

Chapter List
1.) Taming of the Shrew Act 1
00:22:38
2.) Taming of the Shrew Act 2
00:25:03
3.) Taming of the Shrew Act 3
00:17:37
4.) Taming of the Shrew Act 4
00:38:37
5.) Taming of the Shrew Act 5
00:23:05
The TempestRunning Time: 2:04:00

A timeless stage on an enchanted island. An exiled Duke and two lovers encounter the occult. This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Prospero, Miranda, Antonio and Ariel.

Chapter List
1.) The Tempest Act 1
00:35:01
2.) The Tempest Act 2
00:25:16
3.) The Tempest Act 3
00:22:37
4.) The Tempest Act 4
00:16:44
5.) The Tempest Act 5
00:24:45
Timon of AthensRunning Time: 2:09:00

Choice says "recommended version of a difficult yet interesting play." His most cynical work. This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Apemantgus, Lucilius and Flavius.

Chapter List
1.) Timon of Athens Act 1
00:32:40
2.) Timon of Athens Act 2
00:08:38
3.) Timon of Athens Act 3
00:28:44
4.) Timon of Athens Act 4
00:35:09
5.) Timon of Athens Act 5
00:23:39
Titus AndronicusRunning Time: 2:48:00

This tragedy draws on brutal Roman mythology. Stars Eileen Atkins, Trevor Peacock.  This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Tamora, Aaron, Saturninus and Lucius.

Chapter List
1.) Titus Andronicus Act 1
00:34:45
2.) Titus Andronicus Act 2
00:28:52
3.) Titus Andronicus Act 3
00:25:21
4.) Titus Andronicus Act 4
00:35:23
5.) Titus Andronicus Act 5
00:42:53
Troilus & CressidaRunning Time: 3:10:00

Says Choice, "This video is simply excellent, valuable to anyone teaching the play." Stars Anton Lesser, Suzanne Burden. This is a William Shakespeare tragedy with the characters Hector, Achilles and Helen of Troy.

Chapter List
1.) Troilus and Cressida Act 1
00:45:43
2.) Troilus and Cressida Act 2
00:28:16
3.) Troilus and Cressida Act 3
00:37:57
4.) Troilus and Cressida Act 4
00:38:09
5.) Troilus and Cressida Act 5
00:39:50
Twelfth NightRunning Time: 2:09:00

This is the most subtle of Shakespeare's comedies. Starring Alec McCowen, Trevor Peacock.  This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Viola, Sebastian, Dulce Orsino and Olivia.

Chapter List
1.) Twelfth Night Act 1
00:31:51
2.) Twelfth Night Act 2
00:31:11
3.) Twelfth Night Act 3
00:31:54
4.) Twelfth Night Act 4
00:10:57
5.) Twelfth Night Act 5
00:22:51
Two Gentlemen of VeronaRunning Time: 2:17:00

Shakespeare's earliest attempt at romantic comedy, two friends fall in love with Silvia. This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Valentine, Proteus, Silvia and Julia.

Chapter List
1.) Two Gentlemen of Verona Act 1
00:22:43
2.) Two Gentlemen of Verona Act 2
00:35:20
3.) Two Gentlemen of Verona Act 3
00:24:46
4.) Two Gentlemen of Verona Act 4
00:32:37
5.) Two Gentlemen of Verona Act 5
00:21:13
The Winter's TaleRunning Time: 2:54:00

A theme that occupied Shakespeare later in life: reconciliation. Wrongs committed by one generation are made right by the next.  This is a William Shakespeare Comedy with the characters Leontes, Hermione, Perdita and Polixenes.

Chapter List
1.) The Winter's Tale Act 1
00:28:23
2.) The Winter's Tale Act 2
00:25:23
3.) The Winter's Tale Act 3
00:27:52
4.) The Winter's Tale Act 4
00:56:30
5.) The Winter's Tale Act 5
00:34:57
Series SKUSH
Video Programs37
SubjectsEnglish, English Literature, Shakespeare
Supplemental Files2
Released1984
Produced By BBC
Copyright ©1984 BBC
Grade Levels10th Grade through Post Secondary
MARC Records for SH
MARC records for the Full Series SH, The BBC Shakespeare Plays
Shakespeare Plays Brief Description
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