The major texts of Western culture are a gateway to wisdom that can widen your views on self and society in enduring ways. And now you can examine its most important works - whether drama, poetry, or narrative - in this series of 64 penetrating lectures that reveal astonishing common ground.
"A great intoduction"
Now, for the first time in audio, Blackstone presents seven great plays in one volume: Euripides' Medea, Shakespeare's The Tempest, Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, Dumas' Camille, Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, Shaw's Arms and the Man, and Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. These productions illustrate the development of European drama from ancient times to the threshold of the modern theater.
Samantha Spiro, David Troughton, and Amanda Root are among the cast of this new BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Jane Austen's famous novel. Mrs Bennet is determined to see her five daughters married off and secure a future for them all. When the wealthy Mr Bingley arrives in the neighbourhood, Mrs Bennet wastes no time in making his acquaintance. His friend Mr Darcy, however, discourages Mr Bingley from marrying Jane Bennet, and also appears to snub her sister Elizabeth.
Ever since the first night at the St James' Theatre on 14 February 1895, The Importance of Being Earnest has been recognised as one of the world's finest comic dramas. Now Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell leads an outstanding cast in this superb new production of Wilde's masterpiece, mounted to celebrate the centenary of the first performance.
"I could never marry a man called Earnest!"
First published in monthly parts between October 1846 and April 1848. Mike Walker's adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic tale of family relationships tells the story of Paul Dombey, head of the House of Dombey, who lacks a son and cannot reconcile himself to his only daughter.
There is now no doubt that not only is Waiting for Godot the outstanding play of the 20th century, but it is also Samuel Beckett's masterpiece. Yet it is both a popular text to be studied at school and an enigma. The scene is a country road. There is a solitary tree. It is evening. Two tramp-like figures, Vladimir and Estragon, exchange words. Pull off boots. Munch a root vegetable. Two other curious characters enter. And a boy. Time passes. It is all strange yet familiar.
"Stay go leave stay...it's all the same"
Frederick Jaeger stars in a BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of the legend that has haunted the imagination of millions for over a hundred years! Summoned to the forbidden heart of the Carpathian mountains, in the depths of Transylvania, Jonathan Harker journeys to Castle Dracula. There he becomes the unwitting prisoner of the mysterious nobleman whom local legend insists is nosferatu, the vampire...
Telling his followers he is leaving the city on affairs of state, the Duke of Vienna appoints the puritanical Angelo to govern in his absence. Will Angelo prove as virtuous as he seems once power is in his hands? Roaming the city disguised as a friar, the duke looks on as Angelo's lust for the virtuous Isabella sweeps him into the corruption he has so sternly condemned in others. The duke's manipulation at last produces a happy ending for this dark comedy, with its brilliant exploration of the themes of justice and mercy.
A performance of the tragi-comedy by the Royal Shakespeare Company. When a young woman is offered the choice of saving a man's life at the price of her own chastity, what should she do? The political and moral corruption of Vienna has driven Duke Vincentio into hiding while his deputy governor, Angelo, is left to revive the old discipline of civic authority. Angelo's first act is to imprison Claudio, a young nobleman who has gotten his betrothed, Juliet, with child.
Murder mystery by Arnold Bennett, adapted in two parts by Chris Harrald. Episode 1. American tycoon Theodore Racksole buys Europe's most exclusive hotel on a whim, but is warned by the seller that he will live to regret it. Soon, a mysterious death occurs and Theodore and his daughter Nella find themselves in danger in their own hotel. Episode 2: Having bought Europe's most exclusive hotel, American tycoon Theodore Racksole is thrown in to a world of intrigue, espionage and murder. Starring John Sessions with full cast.
The brave warrior Macbeth allows himself to be persuaded by Lady Macbeth, his wife, to slay good King Duncan and seize the throne of Scotland for himself. Macbeth achieves his ambition, but one murder proves not to be enough as he desperately attempts to eliminate all who might threaten his ill-gotten power. Descending into paranoia, Macbeth achieves his ambition but ravages his soul.
At the heart of this tragic history is one of Shakespeare's most noble characters, the statesman Brutus, who is caught in a devastating conflict between private affection and public duty.
Julius Caesar has become the most powerful man in the Rome. Does his power now threaten the very existence of the Republic itself? A conspiracy is hatched, one that will have fatal consequences not only for Caesar and the conspirators but for the future history of the ancient world.
We find ourselves in the austerity of the 1950s, when England's aristocracy was feeling the pinch. Bertie Wooster has gone to a residential self-help school to learn how to darn his socks. Until he re-emerges, Jeeves has signed up with Bill Rowcester (pronounced Roaster), an earl who is failing to make ends meet in trade, and yearning to sell his stately home, which has charm and damp in equal measure. In his new environment Jeeves is required to exert his mammoth brain to what would be breaking point for any normal intellect.
This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.
A new recording of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece, starring Calista Flockhart. Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, and a bright future. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora's well-calibrated domestic ideal starts to crumble. Ibsen's play is as fresh today as it was when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.
"Superfical wife, superficial controlling husband"
Catherine McCormack, Joseph Fiennes, and Harriet Walter star in this BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's last and most remarkable novel. Passion and perception run through this fascinating study of loneliness, love, and ultimate triumph over adversity.
Featuring a fictional version of himself - 'Marcel' - and a host of friends, acquaintances, and lovers, In Search of Lost Time is Proust's search for the key to the mysteries of memory, time, and consciousness. As he recalls his childhood days, the sad affair of Charles Swann and Odette de Crecy, his transition to manhood, the tortures of love and the ravages of war, he realises that the simplest of discoveries can lead to astonishing possibilities.
"BBC does Proust proud"
Here is a diverse and fascinating story of the Theatre, from the first tragedies and comedies of Ancient Greece to the high-tech mega-musicals of the late 20th century. It is an absorbing listen, encompassing ancient tales, medieval theatre, Commedia dell'Arte, the great dramas of the Elizabethan age, and more.
"Fascinating subject flawlessly read"
Drunk on rum at a country fair, Henchard sells his wife to a sailor for five guineas. Unable to find them and overcome with guilt and remorse he vows to be teetotal for 21 years. Many years later his wife seeks him out in Casterbridge, where he has gained both wealth and the well respected position of mayor.
"The Mayor of Casterbridge."
This CliffsNotes study guide on Arthur Miller's The Crucible supplements the original literary work, giving you background information about the author, an introduction to the work, and critical commentaries, all for you to use as an educational tool that will allow you to better understand the work. This study guide was written with the assumption that you have read The Crucible.
In Richard III, Shakespeare invites us on a moral holiday. The play draws us to identify with Richard and his fantasy of total control of self and domination of others. Not yet king at the start of the play, Richard presents himself as an enterprising villain as he successfully plans to dispose of his brother, Clarence. Richard achieves similar success in conquering the woman he chooses to marry. He carves a way to the throne through assassination and executions.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection, brings Julius Caesar to life with this new full-length, full-cast dramatic recording of its definitive Folger Edition.
The day before the rebellion of the Earl of Essex in London, the Lord Chamberlain's Men performed upon commission Richard II, a play wherein Bolingbroke might be taken for Essex and King Richard for Queen Elizabeth. Amazing Insecurity presents two scenes from that performance, as revised by F. L. Light in Sophoclean English classicized. This historical drama maintains the classical form of tragedy in English with seven scenes of dialogue and seven choral performances.
Stories: 1. The Sniper, 2. The Flake, 3. The Tree, 4. Optimist, 5. Chico, 6. Home, 7. Waiting, 8. The Sermon, 9. The Window, 10. Road Train, 11. The Giant