Segments in this Video

"Bérénice": Act 1, Scene 1 (01:36)


Antiochus, king of Comagène, asks his confidant, Arsace, to call upon Bérénice, Queen of Palestine and ask her meet with him. He was her lover, but now she is going to marry Titus, the emperor of Rome.

"Bérénice": Act 1, Scene 2 (03:54)

Antiochus speaks about his torment and confusion of having to keep his love for Bérénice secret. He is resigned to hopelessness and has resolved never to see her again, but wants to talk with her.

"Bérénice": Act 1, Scene 3 (07:01)

Arsaces tells Antiochus that though Bérénice is busy preparing for her marriage with Titus, she will see him. Antiochus reveals that he will be leaving before the marriage. Arsaces asks why. Antiochus tells him that he will explain after they have left.

"Bérénice": Act 1, Scene 4 (14:06)

Antiochus tells Bérénice that he will not attend her wedding with Titus. Even though he had promised to not ever talk of his love for her, he reveals it. He says her upcoming marriage makes him sad and that is why he must leave.

"Bérénice": Act 1, Scene 5 (04:21)

Phenice asks Berenice if she feels pity for Antiochus. She says she does not. She warns Bérénice that Titus has not confirmed the marriage, which Roman law forbids, and the Roman people hate her. Bernice says that their love and his power will transcend that.

"Bérénice": Act 2, Scene 1 (02:43)

Paulin informs Titus that Antiochus had been with Bérénice. He tells Titus that Bérénice was going to pray for his prosperity and not feel sad for her, since almost the entire Eastern world will be hers after the marriage.

"Bérénice": Act 2, Scene 2 (24:53)

Paulin tells Titus that the Romans, because of law and history, do not want him to marry Bérénice. Titus says that, though he will be heartbroken, he will not marry her. His duty is to the Roman state. He wants Antiochus to take her away.

"Bérénice": Act 2, Scene 3 (00:58)

Rutile enters and tells Titus that Bérénice would like to speak with him. Though Titus has trepidations, Paulin tells him it is time to speak to her.

"Bérénice": Act 2, Scene 4 (07:53)

Berenice meets with Titus. She detects a coldness in him, which she attributes to mourning his recently passed father. He attempts to tell her of his change of plans to marry her but cannot. He leaves with Paulin.

"Bérénice": Act 2, Scene 5 (04:31)

Bérénice talks with her confidant, Phenice, wondering why Titus is acting so strangely. She questions whether it is the intensity of her love, his mourning, or his sense of duty to Rome, and says she cannot live without knowing why.

"Bérénice": Act 3, Scene 1 (11:19)

Titus questions Antiochus as to why he is leaving Rome. He reveals that he is not going to marry Bérénice, even though it weighs heavy on him. He asks Antiochus to tell her the news on his behalf.

"Bérénice": Act 3, Scene 2 (06:35)

Antiochus and Arsace talk about the surprising turn of events. They both consider this an opportunity for Antiochus to marry Bérénice, but believe that the matter should be treated delicately, so as not to raise her ire.

"Bérénice": Act 3, Scene 3 (06:22)

Antiochus tells Bérénice that Titus will not marry her. She is shaken and refuses to believe him, telling him that she never wants to see him again.

"Bérénice": Act 3, Scene 4 (03:01)

Antiochus is resolved to leave Rome after Bérénice’s refusal to believe him. Arsace tells him to stay and give Bernice time to grieve. Antiochus says that he must leave, but asks Arsace to check on Bérénice.

"Bérénice": Act 4, Scene 1 (01:12)

Bérénice anxiously waits for Phenice, who has gone to speak with Titus.

"Bérénice": Act 4, Scene 2 (02:16)

Phenice tells Bérénice that she has seen Titus, who, when told of Bérénice’s confusion and grief, began to cry. She tells Bérénice that he is coming to see her.

"Bérénice": Act 4, Scene 3 (01:58)

Titus tells Paulin to tell Bérénice that he will see her. Paulin goes, questioning how things will turn out.

"Bérénice": Act 4, Scene 4 (07:56)

Titus brings up the feelings and contradictions that trouble him, bracing for his meeting with Bérénice.

"Bérénice": Act 4, Scene 5 (15:19)

Titus tells Bérénice that his duty to the state demands that they separate. She tries to convince him that with his power, he could follow his heart. She ends up berating him for leading her on, only to spurn her.

"Bérénice": Act 4, Scene 6 (04:26)

Titus tells Paulin to check on Berenice. Paulin tells Titus, that though he may be heartbroken now, things will work out for the best for him and Rome.

"Bérénice": Act 4, Scene 7 (03:46)

Antiochus asks Titus to go see and comfort heartbroken Bérénice. Rutile and Paulin tell him that the Senate demands his presence. Titus decides to go to the Senate and asks Antiochus to see Berenice.

"Bérénice": Act 5, Scenes 1 - 4 (04:11)

Arsace, talking to Antiochus, hopes for good news and happiness to come. Arsace tells Antiochus that Bérénice is leaving Rome in the evening and that Titus has not come to see her. Titus appears and says he wants to see Bérénice. Antiochus bemoans his cruel fate in this love triangle.

"Bérénice": Act 5, Scene 5 (05:45)

Titus asks Bérénice to stay. She rebuffs him and refuses to change her mind. Titus says he cannot allow her to leave and calls for Antiochus.

"Bérénice": Act 5, Scene 6 (08:20)

Titus tells Bérénice that he would drop everything for love, but questions how she would feel about that. He is concerned that she may commit suicide.

"Bérénice": Act 5, Scene 7 (11:22)

Antiochus reveals to Titus that he also loves Bérénice. She says that though she is in despair and still in love, she understands Titus’ duty. She tells Antiochus to forget about his love for her and leaves.

Credits: "Bérénice" (00:42)

Credits: "Bérénice"

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Bérénice by Racine

DVD Price: $179.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $269.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $179.95



Based loosely upon the events following the death of the Roman emperor Vespasian in the 1st century, Bérénice is the story of a love triangle in which Emperor Titus and his friend Antiochus, King of Commagene, both fall in love with the Queen of Judea: Bérénice. This production by the incomparable La Comédie-Française dramatically captures the anguish and the intensity of Racine’s play—a play that marked both the young playwright’s ascendancy and the great Corneille’s decline. (French, 2 hours 46 minutes on 2 videocassettes)

Length: 169 minutes

Item#: BVL10754

Copyright date: ©1987

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Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.