BBC Television Shakespeare Season 1

Season 1

BBC Television Shakespeare Season 1

First Air Date: December 03, 1978

First Aired on    :   1978
Episodes    :   37 episodes



Episodes

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1x37 Titus Andronicus (April 27, 1985)


Saturninus and Bassianus, sons of the late Emperor of Rome, are struggling over the succession to the throne, but Titus Andronicus, a triumphant general, is preferred. Titus has brought Tamora, Queen of the Goths, her sons and her Moorish lover, Aaron, to Rome as prisoners of war, and he orders the sacrifice of Tamara's son Alarbus. Titus then refuses the throne and supports the claim of Saturninus, offering him his daughter Lavinia in marriage, but she runs off with Bassianus. Saturninus then plans to marry Tamora, and her sons Chiron and Demetrius kill Bassianus, ravish Lavinia, and cut off her hands and tongue. Aaron plants the blame for Bassianus's murder on Titus's sons, who are sentenced to death, and Titus is tricked into cutting off his right hand as a ransom, but it fails to save them. Lucius goes off to the Goths to raise a revenging army, Lavinia accuses Chiron and Demetrius, and Titus goes mad. Tamora has a black child by Aaron, who takes it away for its safety, but they ar


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1x36 Love's Labour's Lost (January 05, 1985)


The King of Navarre and three of his lords swear themselves to three years of study and chastity, but they begin to change their minds when the Princess of France and three of her ladies arrive at court to discuss the debts France owes to Navarre. A clown called Costard mixes up two letters, so that one from Armado to Jacquenetta (a village girl) is read to the Princess, while Jacquenetta receives a love sonnet from Berowne to Rosaline... this leads to some confusion. In the final Act, the lords meet the ladies in a mock-Russian entertainment, and news is received that the King of France has died. The Princess and her ladies prepare to leave Navarre and give their lovers a series of tasks for a year and a day.


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1x35 Much Ado About Nothing (December 22, 1984)


Claudio and Benedick come home from the wars, having fought under Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, to suppress a rebellion by his weird brother, Don John. Leonato, Governor of Messina, welcomes Claudio and Benedick into his house. Claudio woos Hero, Leonato's daughter, while Benedick quips and quarrels with Beatrice, Hero's cousin. Claudio and Hero get engaged to marry and try to trick Benedick and Beatrice into also falling in love. Don John sets out to make mischief and persuades Claudio and Don Pedro that Hero is a scarlet woman. Claudio denounces Hero in front of her family and refuses to marry her, Hero faints. Friar Francis helpfully suggests that Hero be said to have died until her name can be cleared.Left alone in the church, Benedick and Beatrice exchange vows of love and Beatrice gets Benedick to promise he will kill Claudio for the harm he has done Hero. A duel is planned, but before it can take place Don John's dastardly plot is uncovered and Hero is restored to favour, then to


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1x34 Pericles, Prince of Tyre (December 08, 1984)


Prince Pericles, visiting Antioch, solves King Antiochus's riddle to his daughter's suitors - the answer is that the King has had an incestuous relationship with his daughter. Pericles realizes he must escape to Tyre, and from there he goes to Tarsus to relieve a famine. Pursued by Antiochus's men, his ship is wrecked on the shores of Pentapolis and he marries Thaisa, the daughter of its King. Thaisa gives birth to a daughter, Marina, at sea, and in a great storm Thaisa is thrown overboard in a sea-chest. Coming to land at Ephesus, she believes Pericles is drowned and becomes a priestess of Diana.Pericles arranges for Marina to be brought up by Cleon of Tarsus and his wife Dionyza, and returns to Tyre. Fourteen years go by, and Dionyza, jealous of Marina, is about to have her murdered, when Marina is kidnapped by pirates, who send her to a brothel in Mytilene. Cleon tells Pericles that Marina is dead. Meanwhile, in Mytilene Marina's purity triumphs, startling the governor of the city,


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1x33 The Life and Death of King John (November 24, 1984)



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1x32 The Tragedy of Coriolanus (April 21, 1984)



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1x31 The Two Gentlemen of Verona (December 27, 1983)



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1x30 The Comedy of Errors (December 24, 1983)



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1x29 Macbeth (November 05, 1983)



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1x28 Cymbeline (July 10, 1983)



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1x27 The Tragedy of King Richard the Third (January 23, 1983)



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1x26 King Henry the Sixth, Part III (January 16, 1983)



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1x25 King Henry the Sixth, Part II (January 09, 1983)



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1x24 King Henry the Sixth, Part I (January 02, 1983)



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1x23 The Merry Wives of Windsor (December 28, 1982)



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1x22 King Lear (September 19, 1982)


First screened in 1982, this timeless Shakespeare story of an ageing King who decides to divide his Kingdom between his three daughters stars Michael Hordern as Lear, with Brenda Blethyn as Cordelia, Gillian Barge as Goneril, Penelope Wilton as Regan, Michael Kitchen as Edmund and Anton Lesser as Edgar.


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1x21 A Midsummer Night's Dream (December 13, 1981)



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1x20 Troilus and Cressida (November 07, 1981)



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1x19 Othello (October 04, 1981)



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1x18 Antony and Cleopatra (May 08, 1981)


Octavius Caesar (later known as Augustus), Mark Antony, and Lepidus form a triumvirate to rule the Roman Empire. Antony will rule in the east and goes to Egypt, where he becomes the lover of Queen Cleopatra. When Pompey raises an army to fight the triumvirate, Antony returns to Rome and marries Caesar's sister, Octavia. Cleopatra becomes jealous and plans to win Antony back. Caesar breaks a deal with Pompey and defeats him. Antony sends Octavia home to Rome and goes back to Cleopatra, and in Egypt he raises an army and a navy to fight Caesar. Antony's forces lose a critical sea battle when Cleopatra's ship flees. Antony hears Cleopatra has committed suicide and falls on his own sword. Cleopatra is taken prisoner and kills herself.


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1x17 Timon of Athens (April 16, 1981)


Ancient Athenian Timon is well-known for his generosity - his many friends come to all his parties and like to get presents from him. But then Timon suffers losses and finds himself in debt, and his friends melt away. He loses faith in humanity and becomes a hermit.


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1x16 The Winter's Tale (February 08, 1981)


King Leontes of Bohemia suspects his wife, Queen Hermione, of deceiving him with his good friend Polixenes. Leontes drives Polixenes out of his kingdom, but this leads to unforeseen consequences: the arrival of a dangerous bear, an infant abandoned in the snow, love, death, and a statue which comes to life.


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1x15 All's Well That Ends Well (January 04, 1981)



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1x14 The Merchant of Venice (February 17, 1980)



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1x13 The Taming of the Shrew (October 23, 1980)



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1x12 Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (February 27, 1980)


A son avenges his father's murder, but his madness and indecision take its toll on everyone.


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1x11 The Tempest (February 27, 1980)



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1x10 Twelfth Night, or, What You Will (January 06, 1980)



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1x09 King Henry the Fifth (December 23, 1979)



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1x08 King Henry the Fourth, Part II (December 16, 1979)



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1x07 King Henry the Fourth, Part I (December 09, 1979)



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1x06 Henry VIII (February 25, 1979)



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1x05 Measure For Measure (February 18, 1979)


This drama is classified as a comedy play by William Shakespeare. However it is also referred to as a 'problem play', because it cannot be easily described as either a tragedy or comedy. The story of the plot centres on Angelo who has been empowered by the Duke of Vienna to rule his land, whilst he wanders about disguised as a friar to investigate the moral decay of his dukedom. Resorting to an old law against fornication to enforce his strict standards of morality, Angelo proceeds to condemn fornicators to death. One of these fornicators is Claudio , a young man who has had pre-marital sex with his fiancee. Claudio's sister Isabella pleads for her brother's life. Angelo's lust is aroused and he uses his power to blackmail Isabella into his bed. Fortunately the Duke overhears. Angelo ends up in the bed of Mariana , a woman from his undisclosed past. Claudio is allowed to live happily ever after with his fiancee, and the virtuous Isabella ends up the Duke of Vienna's bride


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1x04 Julius Caesar (February 11, 1979)


Marcus Brutus is Caesar's close friend and a Roman praetor. Brutus allows himself to be cajoled into joining a group of conspiring senators because of a growing suspicion — implanted by Caius Cassius — that Caesar intends to turn republican Rome into a monarchy under his own rule.


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1x03 As You Like It (December 17, 1978)


Duke Frederick has driven out the lawful Duke and usurped his duchy. Rosalind (daughter of the banished Duke) falls in love with Orlando de Boys, as he is beating Frederick's champion in a wrestling match. Frederick banishes her, too, and she leaves, disguised as a youth called Ganymede, taking Frederick's daughter Celia and his jester Touchstone with her. Rosalind's troupe heads for the Forest of Arden, where Rosalind's father is living quietly, with Orlando and his brother Jaques now members of the old Duke's rustic court. Rosalind decides to live for a time as Ganymede, and she/he finds Orlando hanging poems to Rosalind on trees (no doubt he knows what he's doing?)... Ganymede promises to cure Orlando of his love, while Touchstone woos a country girl, Audrey. Meanwhile, a shepherdess called Phebe falls in love with Ganymede, scorning the love of the bumpkin Silvius. Oliver de Boys, another brother of Orlando, arrives and falls heavily for Celia. At the end, Ganymede turns himself


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1x02 King Richard the Second (December 10, 1978)


Bolingbroke wrongly accuses Mowbray of killing Gloucester, the uncle of King Richard II. Richard (who in fact arranged the murder) orders a trial by combat between Bolingbroke and Mowbray, then turns this into exile for both of them. Bolingbroke's father, John of Gaunt, dies and Richard seizes his estates to pay for a campaign in Ireland. While Richard is off fighting the Irish, leaving the Duke of York as Regent, Bolingbroke invades England and the country rises in support of him. York vacillates, Richard lands in Wales, is arrested, and surrenders the crown to Bolingbroke, who becomes King Henry IV. A plot against Henry is discovered, Henry pardons his cousin Aumerle, but Richard is murdered while imprisoned at Pontefract.


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1x01 Romeo and Juliet (December 03, 1978)


Romeo, heir of the lordly Montague family of the Italian city of Verona, goes wearing a mask to a dance held by the Capulets, their bitter rivals in the city. There, Romeo falls head over heels for Juliet Capulet, and they are secretly married by the obliging Friar Lawrence. Following a fight, Romeo is banished from the city, and Juliet's father promises her in marriage to another young fellow, Paris. Juliet unwisely agrees to a plan suggested by Friar Lawrence, takes a drug which will make her seem dead for two days and is put into the family vault, expecting Romeo to collect her when she wakes up. However, Romeo fails to get Friar Lawrence's message, believes Juliet is dead, kills Paris, then drinks poison and dies by Juliet's side. On waking up, she finds Romeo's body and stabs herself to death. As a result (if a rather unlikely one) the Montague and Capulet lords make up their ancient quarrel and a new friendship blossoms between the warring factions.