William Shakespeare's repute spans the world the beauty of his language, his profound insight into human nature and the complexity and integrity of his characters, confirming him as the greatest ever playwright. In 1978, the BBC set itself the task of filming all of William Shakespeare's plays for television. The resulting productions, renowned for their loyalty to the text, utilised the best theatrical and television directors and brought acclaimed performances from some of the finest actors. This collection includes 5 of the hugely popular tragedies: HAMLET ... KING LEAR MACBETH OTHELLO ROMEO AND JULIET [show more]
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Collection of five BBC dramatisations of Shakespeare's tragedies. In 'Hamlet' (1980) Derek Jacobi stars as the young Prince with Lalla Ward as Ophelia. Returning home from university, Hamlet finds his mother, Gertrude (Claire Bloom) married to his despised uncle, Claudius (Patrick Stewart). When the ghost of his father, Polonius (Eric Porter), appears to Hamlet and reveals that it was Claudius who murdered him, the young prince vows revenge. However, a fatal flaw in his character - hesitation - mars his efforts, resulting in murder, madness and treachery. In 'King Lear' (1982) Michael Horden stars as the vain and blinkered old King who divides his kingdom amongst his three daughters. When Lear is tricked into making a devastating error, events spiral into madness and malice, bringing the realm to its knees. In 'Macbeth' (1983) Nicol Williamson stars as the guilt-ridden king, who rises to power by spilling the blood of his rivals. Jane Lapotaire plays Lady Macbeth, the woman who spurs her husband on to evermore murderous acts. 'Othello' (1981) sees Anthony Hopkins star as the jealous warrior who is convinced by Iago (Bob Hoskins) that his wife is having an affair. In 'Romeo and Juliet' (1978) Patrick Ryecart and Rebecca Saire star as the doomed lovers in Verona who are kept apart by fate and their feuding families.