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After the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 attempted an assassination on King James's life, England entered a new age of conspiracy, anxiety, and equivocation. Shakespeare wrote Coriolanus, a tragedy about a leader who cannot equivocate; Antony and Cleopatra, reflecting England's nostalgia for Elizabeth; and Macbeth, about the worst crime imaginable: the murder of a king.
When Queen Elizabeth died without an heir, the English throne passed to the Scottish King James I. He was elusive, intellectual, and a foreigner with Catholic sympathies. Shakespeare responded with Measure for Measure, a play about regime change and political and religious tensions; Timon of Athens, about money, greed, and corruption; and King Lear, about a united England about to be divided.
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- Premiered: May 7, 2012
- Rating: None
- Premise: A look at William Shakespeare's career during the first 10 years of the reign of King James 1 and other cultural advancements during that era. (more)