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Listed under:  Language  >  Literature  >  Drama (Literature)  >  Tragedy
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'Romeo and Juliet': true love's passion

One of the most famous love scenes of all time is when Romeo and Juliet pledge their love for each other. Shakespeare's imagery evocatively captures the passion of two young lovers torn apart by their feuding families. Explore this pivotal scene as it is brought to life by Miranda Tapsell and Damien Strouthos of Bell Shakespeare.

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'The Tempest': two sides of Caliban

Caliban is one of Shakespeare's most fascinating characters. Half human and the son of a witch, Caliban attacks Prospero's daughter Miranda. However, he is not without a sympathetic side. In this scene from Act 1.2 of 'The Tempest', with Miranda Tapsell, John Bell and Damien Strouthos of Bell Shakespeare, Caliban's impassioned ...

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'Romeo and Juliet': growing up in a hurry

Act 3.2 in 'Romeo and Juliet' is a pivotal moment in Juliet's character development. Shakespeare manages to compress months of growing up into a single potent scene. Join James Evans as he explores Juliet's soliloquy from the beginning of this scene, and what it reveals about her coming of age, with Miranda Tapsell and ...

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'Romeo and Juliet': the language of true love

There are moments of extraordinary light and beauty amid the tragedy of 'Romeo and Juliet'. Join James Evans and actor Damien Strouthos from Bell Shakespeare as they discuss Act 2.2. Damien explains how Shakespeare's use of language reveals the intense passion, as well as frustration, experienced by Romeo and Juliet.

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'Romeo and Juliet': galloping towards tragedy

Have you ever waited for someone with such anticipation that you felt you might burst? That's exactly the feeling experienced by Juliet, played by Miranda Tapsell of Bell Shakespeare, in this soliloquy as she calls on night to arrive and bring her new husband. Shakespeare's masterful use of dramatic irony puts the audience ...

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'Julius Caesar': comprehending Cassius

Cassius from Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar' is a very complex character! Although conspiring to overthrow Julius Caesar, the motivation to do so appears to stem from patriotism to Rome. Or does it? Join Bell Shakespeare's James Evans as he discusses Shakespeare's characterisation of this historical figure with actors Kate ...

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'Julius Caesar': conspiracy and crime

In this early scene from Shakespeare's historical tragedy, Brutus and Cassius discuss Julius Caesar's right to rule. It acts as a prelude to the infamous conspiracy to assassinate Caesar. This performance by Hazem Shammas and Kate Mulvany of Bell Shakespeare reveals the persuasive power of language in Cassius' clever tongue ...

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'The Tempest': Shakespeare's farewell?

'The Tempest' is believed by some to be Shakespeare's final play. With this in mind, could Prospero in some ways represent Shakespeare himself? If so, Prospero's epilogue at the end of the play takes on a new and poignant resonance. John Bell discusses the themes of giving up and letting go with Bell Shakespeare's James ...

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'The Tempest': set free at last?

The epilogue in 'The Tempest' signals Prospero's acknowledgment that his time is over. He has given up his powers and seeks to return to Naples to live out the rest of his days. John Bell of Bell Shakespeare delivers Prospero's farewell directly to camera in a powerful and evocative plea for release.

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'The Tempest': the island of grief

Caliban, the half-human antagonist of 'The Tempest', is often depicted as monstrous. Yet, modern readings of the play characterise him more sympathetically, particularly when viewed through a postcolonial lens. Join Bell Shakespeare's James Evans as he discusses with John Bell how Prospero's treatment of Caliban reflects ...

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'Julius Caesar': justifying murder

Brutus is in a dilemma! His friend Julius Caesar is about to be crowned Emperor of Rome. However, Brutus is concerned that Caesar will become a tyrant, and he wants to do what is best for Rome. Join interviewer James Evans and actors John Bell and Hazem Shammas from Bell Shakespeare as they explore the language of this ...

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'Julius Caesar': the adder and the ladder

Shakespeare's tragedies provide his audiences with moral dilemmas. Julius Caesar is no exception. In this soliloquy, Brutus ponders whether assassinating Julius Caesar would be in the best interests of Rome. Shakespeare's use of metaphor provides the key to understanding Brutus' motivation, convincingly brought to life ...

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'Hamlet': torment and tragedy

Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's most tormented tragic heroes. Unlike the protagonists of most other tragedies, Hamlet begins the play in a state of anguish. In this early soliloquy, the audience learns why. Tom Conroy from Bell Shakespeare realises Hamlet's agony in this moving excerpt from Act 1, scene 2.

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Getting inside Hamlet's mind

Imagine your whole world has been turned upside down. How would you react? Join James Evans and actor Tom Conroy from Bell Shakespeare as they explore how this soliloquy from Act 1 reveals Hamlet's fragmented state of mind following the death of his father and, as he sees it, his mother's betrayal. Learn how the soliloquy ...

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Lady Macbeth: the power of deadly persuasion

After considering the matter carefully, Macbeth decides not to carry out the plan to murder King Duncan. Until, that is, he is persuaded to by his wife. Lady Macbeth is a fascinating character. Devoted wife or villainess? Watch this performance from Kate Mulvany and Ivan Donato of Bell Shakespeare to decide for yourself.

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The depth of Ophelia's despair

Ophelia is the most piteous character in 'Hamlet'. It seems that everyone wants to use her for their own gain. Here, Eryn-Jean Norvill and John Bell from Bell Shakespeare explore this fragile character as they answer questions put to them by interviewer James Evans.

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'Hamlet': mischievous or mad?

The question of whether Hamlet is mad or just pretending to be has plagued critics and theatre-goers alike. In this excerpt from 'Hamlet', the audience is confronted with this very question. Watch Eryn-Jean Norvill and Tom Conroy from Bell Shakespeare as they present the encounter between Hamlet and Ophelia from Act 3, scene 1.

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'Macbeth': realisation and regret

'Macbeth' is a play drenched in bloodshed and death. In this haunting soliloquy, delivered after Macbeth hears of his beloved wife's death, Macbeth seems to emerge from his bloodlust and reflect on what it has achieved. Join Bell Shakespeare's Ivan Donato as he infuses Macbeth's final soliloquy with pathos and regret.

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Macbeth: are you a man or a mouse?

Let's get inside the devious mind of Lady Macbeth! Bell Shakespeare's Kate Mulvany and John Bell explore the methods Lady Macbeth uses to manipulate her husband. This delightfully despicable character knows just which buttons to press! Listen in on the conversation with James Evans and see for yourself.

Teacher resource

Using 'The Scottish play' - Teacher idea

This Teacher idea includes reflections following the teaching of R11559 'The Scottish play - unit of work'. Students are introduced to Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' and explore its historical context, plot and themes through drama-based activities.