Italy and Shakespeare (02:11)
To Shakespeare, Italy was a country of romance, a perfect setting for colorful stories. Italy was the heart of the Renaissance. Italians in turn love Shakespeare for his ability to depict their country.
Credits: Land of Love: Shakespeare in Italy (00:31)
Credits: Land of Love: Shakespeare in Italy
Italy as Romantic (01:36)
Venice is a favorite setting of Shakespeare's. Shakespeare depicted Italy as the land of love, making it a favorite destination of the English.
Shakespeare's Lost Years (01:30)
In 1585, Shakespeare vanishes from history for seven years. Could he have been in Italy? The narrator cites Shakespeare's detailed knowledge of Venice.
Contemporary Portrayal of Venice (01:28)
A Venetian expert on Shakespeare says Shakespeare gives us a vibrant, contemporary vision of Venice, whereas his Rome is always Classical Rome and even London is historical.
Background of "The Taming" (02:30)
Shakespeare married for money, and his early plays are favorable to doing so. "The Taming of the Shrew," set in Padua, was borrowed from an Italian play.
Shakespeare studied many Italian thinkers, including Ovid and his "The Art of Love."
Interpretation of "The Taming" (02:43)
Petruchio desires Katherina for her money. The narrator portrays "The Taming of the Shrew" as a cynical update of Ovid's advice on winning women.
Romeo and Juliet (03:30)
The story of lovers separated by their families is an old one in Italy. Dante mentions the Montagues and Capulets. We visit what is said to have been the Montague house, then "Juliet's house."
Club di Giulietta (03:19)
We visit the Club di Giulietta. People unhappy in love write to the Club; the Giuliettas working there give suggestions.
Romeo and Juliet Meet (02:22)
Romeo and Juliet meet at a masque ball. They speak in sonnets; see their dialogue enacted.
"Much Ado about Nothing" Background (01:48)
The narrator introduces us to Sicily. "Much Ado" was written in 1598, during the plague and depression of Elizabeth's final years; people needed cheering up.
"Much Ado" Setting (01:42)
"Much Ado" is set in prosperous late sixteenth century Sicily. Shakespeare drew on Il Cortegiano, an etiquette guide.
Emma Thompson on "Much Ado" (02:07)
Emma Thompson, who played Beatrice in the movie, sees "Much Ado" as the first romantic comedy, with characters quarreling but destined for love.
Clothing of "Much Ado" (03:23)
A theatrical historian shows his collection of outfits, and the kind of clothes people would have worn in sixteenth century Sicily, where "Much Ado" was set.
Coded Language (01:19)
A theatrical historian explains the coded messages people sent with the way they held their fans at Sicilian parties.
Beatrice and Benedick Dialogue (01:15)
Emma Thompson and the narrator read Beatrice and Benedick's lines expressing their love in a unique way, beginning "How doth your cousin?" "Very ill."
Sicilian Shakespeare Theory (01:40)
Messina, Sicily claims Shakespeare was born there as Crollalanza, a common name which translates as "shake spear."
Basis for Crollalanza as Shakespeare Theory (02:34)
Discovery of Crollalanza's "The Second Fruits," with phrases later found in Hamlet, sparked the theory that Crollalanza was Shakespeare. There are interesting coincidences from Crollalanza's life.
Othello as Quintessentially Italian (01:21)
Venice was the meeting point between East and West; trade was more important than religion. Othello's passionate character was the most Italian in Shakespeare.
Venitian Sexual Obsession (02:29)
Shakespeare drew on Cinthio's Hecatommithi for Othello, but went deeper into Venice's psyche. See a 16th century directory that listed Venice's courtesans and their fees.
Doge's Palace (02:35)
Here, Othello is summoned to explain how he bewitched Desdemona into marriage. An actor delivers Othello's speech; a later speech conveys Othello's murderous jealousy.
Othello Inspires Opera (02:48)
Othello inspired a Verdi opera; an actress delivers a song from the opera and comments on Othello and its appeal to Verdi and Italians.
"Othello" is Shakespeare's most troubling exploration of love. Romeo and Juliet is ultimately uplifting, but in Othello love itself is murdered.
Credits: Land of Love: Shakespeare in Italy (00:57)
Credits: Land of Love: Shakespeare in Italy
For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or firstname.lastname@example.org.