Do you love Shakespeare? I can’t say I’ve been an avid aficionado, especially when it comes to reading him (though I have done that). His plays were mainly meant to be watched/heard rather than read in any case. I have enjoyed watching some very well done films of his plays, including As You Like It, King Lear, and Hamlet.
But while watching the PBS series, “Shakespeare Uncovered,” I brought deeper into Shakespeare’s wonderful stories by professors and lovers of literature, and actors who played (with various interpretations) the different characters. I absolutely loved the first season (which I posted about here), and so I was thrilled to learn about the Season 2. Both are playable for free here. In this season, many of Shakespeare’s stories featuring strong female leads are the focus: Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear, Othello, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Different hosts of the show include Morgan Freeman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugh Bonneville and Christopher Plummer.
I would urge some caution for younger viewers on some of these, as Othello features some violence, Romeo and Juliet a bedroom scene, Taming of Shrew touches on some sexual explicitness, Midsummer discusses bestiality. Also, playactors take liberties in a public elementary school where they switch male and female roles in the Taming of the Shrew (male actor wears female clothes and vice versa). It is interesting that the children, who had formerly been enjoying the hilarious play, grow suddenly quiet and uncomfortable when the costumes are changed. It’s sad when adults mess with children’s minds in this way, twisting the nature of gender.
Despite these few issues, I really did enjoy these a lot and think you will as well. I’m looking forward to perhaps more seasons in the near future!