In Search of Shakespeare: "A Time of Revolution" and "The Lost Years"

In Search of Shakespeare: "A Time of Revolution" and "The Lost Years"

Fri, 04/08/2011 - 7:00pm

Engraving of William Shakespeare from the First Folio of year 1623

Join us for parts 1 and 2 of 4 for a look at Shakespeare's life before his emergence as a star writer in London.

In Search of Shakespeare: A Time of Revolution and The Lost Years encore Friday, April 8 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on WXXI World (cable 524/DT21.2).

The first episode sets Shakespeare's life in the early years of Elizabeth's reign, at the beginning of Elizabeth's Cultural Revolution. We set the scene with the seesaw politics of England in the twenty years since Henry VIII's split with Rome. The age is marked by the battle of conscience and power, which will lead to religious and class struggle, and eventually to Civil War. Through local documents - and with the help of the modern-day town councilors - we follow William's father's career in a small town, rising to become Alderman and Mayor. We follow William's school days in the old schoolroom where he was taught; we see a Tudor school play performed by the boys today. We also see the medieval mystery plays that were seen by William until they were banned as "childish superstition" when he was 15. Apart from the birth of his three children, absolutely nothing is known about Shakespeare's life between the ages of 18 and 28, but there are some intriguing clues.

In Search of Shakespeare: The Duty of Poets and For All Time air Friday, April 15 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on WXXI World (cable 524/DT21.2).