cover art for The Life of Shakespeare: Part Two

The Play's the Thing

The Life of Shakespeare: Part Two

William Shakespeare is the most celebrated dramatist in the English language, perhaps any language. But who was the man behind the plays? Part two of two.

More episodes

View all episodes

  • The Merry Wives of Windsor

    Imagine the biggest comedic star of Shakespeare's stage, taken from battle, and dropped into a love triangle. Huzzah! Tim and Sarah-Jane Bentley celebrate the return of Falstaff.
  • Teaching Shakespeare

    Teaching Shakespeare: Why do so many students hate Shakespeare? Probably because the way his plays are taught. Let's get out of our desks and onto a stage! Tim talks to two guests about why performing is the key to understanding and loving Shakespeare.
  • Measure for Measure: Act V

    I like to call this act "duke ex machina." The Duke returns, ready to solve everyone's problems. Plus, a special guest asks the question, "Did Shakespeare care about his characters?" Plus, after the podcast, Gaelyn and Tim keep talking at home and Gaelyn forms a theory.
  • Measure for Measure: Act IV

    It's complicated, okay. In Act 4, the Duke (disguised as the Friar) is a puppet master, pulling strings, saving prisoners, ending lives. He also forms a secret plot with Angelo's jilted fiancé. See, it's complicated.
  • Measure for Measure: Act III

    In Measure for Measure, Act 3, Isabella breaks the news to her brother: He will be executed by Angelo. The only alternative is unthinkable to Isabella. But not to her brother. 
  • Measure for Measure: Act II

    The nun, Isabella, asks Angelo to have mercy on her condemned brother. But Angelo is unrelenting. —Unless Isabella is willing to offer something in return. One of the best acts in Shakespeare.
  • Measure for Measure: Act I

    When Angelo is appointed governor, he cleans up Venice, starting with a pregnant couple. Death to the lewd! Except, Angelo sets himself a trap. One of Shakespeare’s hidden gems. 
  • The Comedy of Errors

    Shakespeare's most confusing play? Twins, separated after a shipwreck, both named Antipholus. Their servants, also separated by shipwreck, both named Dromio. End of the pod: a one-minute Hallmark reel by Pharbeaux.
  • Antony and Cleopatra

    A sequel to Julius Caesar, starring two of the most immature lovers of all time. Or maybe they're mature shape-shifters? Sarah-Jane Bentley makes her case.