Beowulf is the oldest written epic in English literature. In this program, Dr. Robert DiNapoli--teaching fellow in Old and Middle English at the University of Birmingham, England--and Professor John Burrow of Bristol University examine the symbolism and the influence of Christianity in Beowulf and other masterpieces of English and Germanic poetry.
This beautifully dramatized version of the late-14th-century poem offers a bonanza to the English teacher: one of the best known of the Arthurian legends, a portrait of life in Arthurian days as the Pearl poet imagined it, a baker’s dozen of discussion topics about human virtue and human imperfectibility—and a fascinating plot involving a challenge by the Green Knight (green is of course the color of magic), who departs Arthur’s castle holding his own head, which Gawain has just lopped off; Gawain’s quest to keep his word and prove his worthiness while remaining alive; and the very moral surprise ending. (76 minutes)
Winner of five Academy Awards, the International Grand Prix of Venice, the New York Film Critic's Award, and the Parents Magazine Award for Extraordinary Merit, Olivier's Hamlet is no doubt the premier teaching tool for Shakespeare classes--Olivier's breadth of view of both the protagonist and the entire play will be enjoyed again and again by the teacher, while making the text comprehensible and exciting to students.
Despite the dampening effects of the Inquisition and the Counter Reformation, the Renaissance gave a powerful impetus to learning and experimentation--and in the process ensconced Castilian as the language of choice for both poetry and prose.