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Comedy, History, Tragedy
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Comedy, History, Tragedy: Works by William Shakespeare - 7/11

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was considered the outstanding dramatist of his age and is regarded by many as the greatest writer in the English language. He is the author of more than 35 plays that have been translated into every major language and performed worldwide more often than those of any other playwright. Having been the source for hundreds of movies, Shakespeare is now the subject of sister network TNT's newest dramatic series Will, which premieres July 10th at 9pm. TCM celebrates the launching of Will with a night of programming devoted to Shakespeare's outstanding body of work.

Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's most widely received play was adapted into a musical set in New York City, where rival street gangs threaten the blossoming relationship between two young lovers in West Side Story (1961); Actor and director Kenneth Branaugh's long time admiration of Shakespeare shines in his humorous adaption of Much Ado About Nothing (1993); while Akira Kurosawa takes the story of general Macbeth and transposes it to feudal Japan in Throne of Blood (1957).

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton play two strong-willed counterparts in Franco Zefferilli's adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew (1967); and Laurence Olivier takes on both the title role and directing duties in Hamlet (1948). Chimes at Midnight (1965), with Orson Welles as writer/director/star, allows Welles' text to blend comedy, tragedy and history effortlessly--genres that served as the foundation for Shakespeare's legacy.

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