A 2-part documentary by Malcolm Hossick. It’s not too much to claim that the English playwright Shakespeare is the best known figure in world literature. His works have been translated into every known written language on earth. English, for various reasons, has become the language of business and international politics. It’s the plots and the way he handles them that get people interested. Operas and films have been made of them. There is hardly a topic in human relations that he doesn’t touch on and open up in ways that anyone anywhere can relate to. He makes people laugh out loud and clutch their hearts in sympathy. Ah, yes, we say. That’s the way things are! The first part of this film explores how he got to where he did and, in particular, the remarkable society in which he found the space and tolerance to do it. Part Two looks at a few of the plays in detail, the words, the images, the dramatic techniques he used. It’s no use pretending that it is easy to come to grips with—the verse, the brilliant use of language and ideas—they are complicated and demanding. He writes words to be spoken on the stage and he lived long before the novel was established, the staple of popular culture today. His vocabulary is enormous and he was educated in the Roman and Greek classics which most people don’t get these days. But most of us can better rise to challenges than we often think we can, and plumbing the depths of Shakespeare is to get to the heart of what it is to be a confident human being. In the measure of our time on earth Shakespeare wrote only yesterday and the delights and travails he deals with are with us today as ever. This film might just be a way into the astonishing world of William Shakespeare.