britannica-guide to shakespeare

Britannica-Guide to Shakespeare

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  • Description

Get to know the most famous author of all time.

William Shakespeare has entertained readers and theatre patrons for centuries. Part of Britannica's profile series, The Guide to Shakespeare CD-ROM examines the Bard's legacy from Elizabethan England to the present day, uncovering why few authors can match Shakespeare for broad appeal and sheer endurance. For centuries he has entertained readers and theatergoers, helping us see our commonalities and revealing our humanness. His tender scenes of reconciliation, such as that between Lear and Cordelia, continue to break hearts in the 21st century, though they were written centuries ago. The themes of his love stories, such as Romeo and Juliet, are as fresh and universal today as they must have been when he wrote them. Teenagers still memorize his lines. Words he coined are an intrinsic part of the English vocabulary. His works are translated worldwide. So why does Shakespeare stand out so far among his contemporaries? What makes his speech so compelling? Where did he obtain his depth of understanding, his wit? Who was he exactly? We invite you to examine the Bard with us.

The Man

Learn about both the private life and the career of the man behind the poetry and the drama.

The Plays

Gain a better understanding of the compelling works and brilliant characters that are known across the world.

The Shakespearean World

A chronology puts key events of the times into context with the works of Shakespeare, including exploration of the new world and the lives of other influential people such as Galileo and Rembrandt.

Multimedia

Watch classic video clips of Shakespeare's most famous works including Hamlet and Macbeth and listen to audio clips performed by some of the finest Shakespearean actors such as John Gielgud and John Barrymore. Audio clips also include accompanying music by the Orchestra of the Paris Opera and the New Philharmonia Orchestra.

Learning Activities

Immerse yourself in the world of Shakespeare. Writing activities and role-playing bring Shakespeare to life. 

System Requirements

Windows

  • Microsoft® Windows® 2000, XP, or Vista
  • Pentium III® or equivalent processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 1.6 GB free hard-drive space (3.8 GB for Full installation)
  • DVD-ROM drive/CD-ROM drive
  • 1024x768 resolution, 16-bit color
  • Sound card and speakers recommended
  • Printer recommended
  • Internet access recommended