Originally aired in the United States on PBS, Jeremy Irons takes the viewer on a sojourn through William Shakespeare’s “history plays,” where the father-son drama that Shakespeare created is embedded in English history. Irons reveals the historical truths behind the story and how they inspired some of Shakespeare’s most famous monologues. Whether it is through a journey to the battlefield at Agincourt in northern France, or to a rowdy bar in East Cheap, it is shown how Shakespeare was more subversive than his ardent admirers often think. Irons also invites viewers behind the scenes at the filming of key sequences starring Irons himself as the father-king, Henry IV, and Tom Hiddleston as his son, Prince Hal, who becomes Henry V.
The viewing guide contains 40 questions that closely follow the film text with a complete answer key. The film can be found on pbs.org until January 2016. It can be found on Netflix and streams on Amazon.com for less than three dollars.
Key words: AP English Language, AP English Literature, British Literature, rhetoric, drama, immigration, Shakespeare, warfare, leadership, World History, Social Studies