A. 2   genre & theme

poetry --- novel ---  drama  --- theme


a.  poetry (Please see the British period page for more British poetry videos of different historical periods.)

English Poetry Anthology - The Romantic Poets (1999)


A superb study of the poets of the Romantic period, featuring the works of Wordsworth, Byron, Keats,  Coleridge and others. This informative program is a perfect introduction to the Romantic movement of the nineteenth century which was responsible for a revival of interest in medieval romance, the supernatural, and the mystery of life. Chapters include • The poems • The poets’ lives and times • The themes and language • Expert  comment, interpretation and analysis by Dr. Robert Woof of Rydell Mount Cumbria, Dr. Julia North of De Montford University, Leicester, and Derrick Woolf, the custodian of Coleridge Cottage in Somerset • Historical context and background • Modern criticism.   (50min)
English Poetry Anthology - The Victorian Poets (1999)


Features the works of favorite Victorian poets, including Tennyson, Browning, Hopkins and others. This fascinating program provides a revealing look into the great works of this period, plus filmed reconstructions which depict life during the Victorian Era. It also gives the modern viewer a unique look at a school of poetry which was, foremost, a reflection of its time. Chapters include • The poems • The poets’ lives and times • The themes and language • Expert comment, interpretation and analysis by by Dr. Nick Shrimpton of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, Professor Joanna Shattock of Leicester University, Dr. Peter McDonald of Christ Church, Oxford, and Dr. Julia North of De Montford University, Leicester • Historical context and background • Modern criticism.  (50min)


This program is a popular and effective way to introduce students to the origins of English language and literature. This journey into Celtic-British culture and the oral epic tradition leads through Caedmon and Bede and culminates in a detailed examination of the greatest masterpiece of the age,  Beowulf, and of its protagonist, who is our first tragic hero.
Introduction to English Poetry


This introductory program shows the sweep, range, and variety of English verse by presenting extracts from Chaucer, Shakespeare, Herbert, Milton, Swift, Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson, Hardy, Yeats, and Ted Hughes.
The Poetry of Ireland

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The great poems of Patrick Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney, William Butler Yeats, Brendan Kennelly, Padraic Pearse and others are read by Kathleen Watkins as she travels  throughout Ireland, visiting the locations that inspired these  wonderful words.  (45 mins.)
The Poetry Anthology Three authoritative and accessible studies of English poetry. These programs feature in-depth looks at the lives and works of the leading British poets of the past three centuries, with expert interpretation and critical analyses by leading authorities in English literature.  (Includes all three volumes of the series: 150 mins)
The Augustan Poets

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An enlightening guide to the works of Alexander Pope, John Dryden and other Augustan poets. 50 mins.
The Romantic Poets

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Wordsworth, Byron, Keats, Coleridge and others are covered.  (50 mins.)
The Victorian Poets

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Features the works of Tennyson, Browning, Hopkins and others.  (50 mins)
Old English Poetry


The foundation for the understnading of English literature-its Anglo-Saxon origins are offerred here with modern translations of three riddle poems(which show that the English sense of humor hasn't changed mush), "The Seafarer," and "The Dream of the Road." In sections of Beowulf, the original Old English is cunningly interwoven with contemporary English to offer both an understanding and a sense of the power of the poetic language of the original.
Poetry in Motion


More than 20 contemporary North American poets recite, sing, and perform their work. Several also comment. Early in the film, Charles Bukowski talks about the energy of poets and of a poem. These poets are energetic performers, and their poems are meant to be heard. These poets are the children of Walt Whitman and of Charles Olson, incantatory and oratorical, radical, sometimes incorporating contemporary political imagery. Black Mountain poets, the Beats, minimalists like John Cage, the wordless Four Horsemen, Tom Waits, and others capture aspects of poets as troubadours.  --IMDb
The Poetry Hall of Fame--Volume One

(PBS video,1993) (Color, 57:58mins)

Simply an incredible collection of great writers, and a wonderful journey through great poems. Within these words use may find all the love, joy, hope, fear, enchantment and humor that is the human spirit.
  • William Shakespeare: St. Crispin's Day Speech, King Henry V, Act IV, Scence 3
  • Carl Sandburg :Gone
  • Carl W. Hines, Jr:   Jazz Poem
  • Robert Hillyer: Miss Helen Lag
  • Anne Sexton: And One For My Dame
  • Leigh Hunt: Abou Ben Adhem
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Rime of the Ancient Marnier, Part II
  • Aphra Behn: The Willing Mistress
  • Roger McGough: Summer with Monica-- #1 (excerpt)
  • Christopher Marlowe: The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
  • Sir Walter Raleigh: The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd
  • Edna St. Vincent Millay: Modern Declaration
  • Rudyard Kipling: The Betrothed (excerpt)
  • Walt Whitman: As I Ponder'd in Silence, The Artilleryman's Vision (excerpt)
  • Wilfred Owen: Disabled
  • Siegfried Sasson: Aftermath
  • Emily Dickinson: Dear March--Come in
  • Stephanie Simpson: Scrapbook of a Summer Evening (excerpt)
  • Robert Frost: Tree at My Window/ Stopping By,Woods on a Snowy Evening
  • Geoffrey Chaucer: The Cantebury Tales; Prologue (excerpt)
  • Ogden Nash: Peekaboo, I Almost See You, A Drink With Something in it
  • Richard Armour: Authentic Antique
  • Anonymous: The Discriminating Pig
  • John Milton: Paradise Lost, Book VII (excerpt)
  • Stephen Spender: I Think Continually of Those
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley: Adonais (excerpt)
  • Henry Wadsworth
  • Longfellow: The Day is Done
The Poetry Hall of Fame--Volume Two

(PBS video,1993) (Color, 58:28mins)

Simply an incredible collection of great writers, and a wonderful journey through great poems. Within these words use may find all the love, joy, hope, fear, enchantment and humor that is the human spirit.
  • John Masefield :Sea Fever
  • Edmund Spenser: Amoretti, Sonnet 75 , One Day I Wrote Her Name Upon the Strand
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley: Ozymandias
  • John Keats: When I Have Fears that I May Cease to be
  • William Shakespeare: Sonnet CXVI, Let me not to the Marriage of True Minds
  • Emily Dickinson: I Dwell in Possibility
  • George Herbert: The Altar
  • Sir Walter Scott: Song-- On the Lifting of the Banner of the House of Buccleuch, at a Great
  • Football Match on Caterhaugh (excerpt)
  • Samuel W. Allen: To Satch
  • A.P. Herbert: Mullion
  • Roger McGouth: Cousin Caroline, Uncle Jed, Uncle Malcolm, Aunt Ermintrude, Albert Robinson
  • Alexander Pope: Epilogue to the Satires, Dialogue II
  • Edwin Markham: The Man with the Hoe (excerpt)
  • Anne Bradstreet: To My Dear and Loving Husband
  • Judith Viorst: True Love
  • Conrad Aiken: The Quarrel
  • Lord Byron: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto the Second, XXXV,  'Tis An Old Lesson
  • Sylvia Plath: The Applicant
  • William Blake: Visions of the Daughters of Albion, (excerpt)
  • James Russell Lowell: The Vision of Sir Launfal: And What is so Rare ,As a Day in June
  • Amy Lowell: Patterns
  • Robert Lowell: For Aunt Sarah
  • Elizabeth Berrett Browning: Sonnet: XLII How Do I Love Thee
  • Robert Browning: Prospice
  • William Cowper, Nartley: 3 Translations of Ode XXXVIII by Horace
  • Colerge, Eugene Field
  • Lord Byron: Written After Swimming from Sestos to Abydos
  • Joseph S. Newman: Hero and Leander
  • William Butler Yeats: When You are Old
  • Thomas Hardy: Afterwards
  • Edgar Lee Masters: Spoon River Anthology: The Hill (excerpt)
  • Phyllis MaGinley: Text for Today
  • e.e. cummings: sweet spring is your time
  • Roger McGough: Goodbat Nightman
  • Edith Sitwell: Facade: Tarantella
The Poetry Hall of Fame--Volume Three

(PBS video,1993) (Color, 58:51mins)

Simply an incredible collection of great writers, and a wonderful journey through great poems. Within these words use may find all the love, joy, hope, fear, enchantment and humor that is the human spirit.
  • William Wordworth: An Evening Walk (excerpt), Enough of Climbing Toil
  • Archibald MacLeish: Ars poetica
  • Louis Simpson: The Mannequins
  • William Carlos Williams: The Artist
  • Alan Dugan: Teacher's Vacation Lament in the Country
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson: The Princess, Part III, The Splendor Falls on Castle Walls
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson: Miniver Cheevy
  • Edgar Allan Poe: To Helen
  • Theodore Roethke: Night Journey
  • John Bould Fletche:r Down the Mississippi
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins: Pied Beauty
  • Jesse Stuart: Robert Diesel
  • Jonathan Swift: Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift
  • Mark Twain: Stephen Dowling Bots (excerpt), Hamlet's Soliloquy
  •  Omar Khayyam: The Rubaiyat (excerpt) Translated by Edward Fitzgerald
  • Rihaku (Li-Po): The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter Translated by Ezra Pound
  • Yevgenvy Yevtushenko: In Steelworker's Home Translated by John Updike
  • C. Day Lewis: In the Shelter
  • Sir John Betjeman: A. Subaltern's Love-song
  • William Dickey: Resolving Doubts
  • Robert Louis Stevenson: Romance (excerpt)
  • Thomas Moore: Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms
  • Annoymous: There is a Lady Sweet and Kind
  • W.H. Auden: Carry Her Over the Water
  • Oscar Hammerstein: All the Things You Are
  • Edgar "Yip" Harburg: Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?
  • A.A. Milne: The King's Breakfast
  • Edward Lear: The Owl and the Pusscat
  • Henry Warsworth Longfellow: The Rainy Day
  • The Bible (King James Version) The Song of Solomon II
  • Alexander Pope: Couplets
  • William Shakespeare: Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
  • Anonymous: Familiar Lines
The Poetry Hall of Fame--Four Volumes

(PBS video,1993) (Color, 58:28mins)

Simply an incredible collection of great writers, and a wonderful journey through great poems. Within these words use may find all the love, joy, hope, fear, enchantment and humor that is the human spirit.
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson: The Charge of the Light Brigade
  • William Shakespeare: As You Like It, Act II, Scene 7 ,All the World's Stage
  • Thomas Bailey Aldrich: The Menu
  • John Dryden: Happy the Man
  • Peter Motteux: Slaves to Lodon I'll Deceive You
  • Ted Hughs: April Birthday
  • William Wordworth: Composed by the Side of Grasmere Lake
  • T.S. Eliot: Bus: The Theatre Cat
  • N.H. Brettell: Giraffes
  • Bayard Taylor: A Night with a Wolf
  • Thomas Hardy: Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?
  • D.H. Lawarence: Autumn at Taos
  • Robert V. Carr: The Old Cowbay's Lament
  • Dubose Heyward: Dusk
  • Matthew Arnold: Dover Beach
  • Phillip Larkin: Annus Mirbillis
  • Jenny Joseph: Warning
  • Anonymous: The Old Farmer and His Young Wife
  • Sheldon Harnick: The Shape of Things (excerpt)
  • Roger McGough: Summer With Monica-- #38
  • Emily Bronte: Mild the Mist Upon the Hill
  • Ernest Dowson: Non Sum Qualis Earm Bonae Sub RegnoCynarae
  • John Donne: Holy Sonnets, Number 10: Death, Be Not Pround
  • Thomas Gray: Elegy Written in A Country Churchyard (excerpt)
  • Christina Ressetti: Song
  • Dylan Thomas: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
  • Robert Louis Stevenson: Requiem
  • William Butler Yeats: Under Ben Bulben-VI
  • Robert Herrick: To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
  • Robert Burns: A Red, Red Rose
  • Edmund Waller: Go, Lovely Rose
  • Dorothy Parker: One Perfect Rose
  • William Shakespeare: King Richard II, Act III, Scene 2: Let's Talk of Graves, of Worms, and
  •                                  Epitaphs
  • Herbert Read: My Company-- Part I
  • Phyllis McGinley: Volunteer Fireman
  • Langston Hughes: I Dream a World
  • William Shakespeare: The Tempest, Act IV, Scene I, Our Revels Now Are Ended
How to Read and Understand Poetry

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(Part I) Poetry--Summary, Pre-and Post-Viewing Suggestion, Narration Script.
(Part II) Poetry--Summary, Pre-and Post- Viewing Suggestion, Narration Script.
Glossary of Terms Describing Poetic Form.
(Part III) Interpretation: Reading and Meaning--Summary, Pre-and Post-Viewing
Suggestions, Narration Script
(Part IV) The Interpretation of a Poem'Summary, Pre-and Post-Viewing
Suggestion, Narration Script.


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Documentary) (2008)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Documentary)


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the greatest works of English literature, acclaimed by scholars as the equal of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It has inspired children's stories, translations in prose and poetry, plays, animations, films and an opera. Yet, despite its fame, the poem, which disappeared for centuries, was written by a poet whose name remains unknown, in an obscure dialect of Middle English.

This program sets out to investigate this unusual phenomenon, retracing the path of Sir Gawain in his fateful meeting with the Green Knight, and noting the haunted scenery through which he passes.
Grounding itself on the latest research into the poem, it attempts to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding it, which it links to the career of an impetuous English monarch, whose fall was ultimately to plunge England into a century of civil war. -- From Amazon  

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b.  novel

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c.  drama


Staging Classical Comedy


Tragedy upholds traditional values and comedy attacks them-which explain much of the cahnge from Aristophanes to Plautus, from Old Comedy to New, reeflecting as it does the change from Athenian democracy to Roman totalitarianism. Wary of creating permanent spaces that might be used for mass meetings, the Romans constructed temporary wooden structures to house their theatrical productions. Since they were made of wood, they did not survive. To determine how Roman comedy was staged, evidence must be sought elsewhere-in surviving artifacts, contemporary Latin descriptions, and, above all, in the texts themselves. The program uses Plautus Miles Gloriosus to test the stageability of a classical comedy as authentically as possible, combining a full-scale reconstruction of the lost stage, the ancient text, and a still-vital comic style.

Jane Austen Collection (Sense & Sensibility / Emma / Persuasion / Mansfield Park / Pride & Prejudice / Northanger Abbey)

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The socially restricted lives of 18th-century women hardly seems like a subject that would inspire dozens of 20th (and 21st) century adaptations--but the brilliant novels of Jane Austen are flush with sparkling dialogue, razor-sharp wit, marvelously realized characters that range from adorably sympathetic to grotesquely comic, and--above all--ingeniously intricate plots, which arrive at a seemingly inevitable happy conclusion yet keep you seized with suspense every inch of the way. The Jane Austen Collection pulls together six BBC miniseries from 1971 through 1987, one for each of Austen's much-beloved books.

Unsurprisingly, the gems of the lot are also the best of the novels: Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Pride and Prejudice, expertly translated to the screen by novelist Fay Weldon, skillfully chronicles the ups and downs of the sensible but quick to judge Elizabeth Bennet (the adorable Elizabeth Garvie) and the snooty Mr. Darcy (played with an imperious scowl by David Rintoul). Any adaptation of Emma rests firmly on its central character, and Doran Godwin wonderfully captures Emma Woodhouse's resilience, determination, and exasperating self-satisfaction. Definitely the funniest of Austen's novels, Emma's satirical humor is perfectly balanced with romantic yearning, and this 1972 version succeeds delightfully.

Persuasion, though more melancholy in tone, has a wonderfully sympathetic heroine in Anne Elliot (played by the graceful Ann Fairbanks), who once turned away the man she loved but is given the chance, seven years later, to set things right. Sense and Sensibility suffers from comparison to the star firepower and cinematic sweep of the 1995 movie with Emma Thompson (a must-see for any Austen fan), but the dueling characters of gracious Elinore and headstrong Marianne, two sisters struggling with fallen fortunes, make for enjoyable viewing in this 1981 adaptation. Mansfield Park has perhaps the dullest hero and heroine of any Austen novel, yet the story zips along, powered by some of Austen's most outrageous supporting characters, here brought to deliciously comic life by Anna Massey and Angela Pleasence. Northanger Abbey satirizes gothic romances and the overheated imaginations that loved them; but though the tone is more broad and melodramatic than most of Austen, this 1987 adaptation suits the novel and rounds out this very satisfying boxed set.                                                                                                                                                             --Amazon

Tennessee Williams Film Collection

Tennessee Williams Film Collection (A Streetcar Named Desire 1951 Two-Disc Special Edition / Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1958 Deluxe Edition / Sweet Bird of Youth / The Night of the Iguana / Baby Doll / The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone)

DVD/ 812 / Wi721-1

Product: [Streetcar Named Desire 2 Disc SE Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Deluxe Edition Sweet Bird of Youth Night of the Iguana Baby Doll Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone]

A much-needed DVD tribute to one of the essential American playwrights, The Tennessee Williams Collection gathers six Williams titles and one vintage documentary. Taken together, it's a potent introduction to the specific terrain (geographical and emotional) of this brilliant writer. The set is anchored by Warner's deluxe two-disc treatment of A Streetcar Named Desire, which has copious extras (among them a fine 90-minute documentary about director Elia Kazan). The multi-Oscar-winning Streetcar is one of the better stage adaptations in film history, and it captures the electrifying Marlon Brando, re-creating his stage role, in the part that changed American acting: the brutish New Orleans sensualist Stanley Kowalski. Vivien Leigh won an Oscar opposite him, as the faded (except in her own mind) Southern belle Blanche DuBois, whose arrival in the Kowalski home leads to disaster.   -- From Amazon

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d.  theme


Living in the Past Box (1)  Life in Anglo-Saxon Times


(英文字幕,英文發音50 min)
Living in the Past Box (2) Life in Medieval Times

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(英文字幕,英文發音50 min)
Living in the Past Box (3) Life in Victorian Times   


 These fascinating programs provide an atmospheric and realistic taste of life in past times,     and show how everyday people endured and enjoyed their often difficult lives. Features authentic reconstructions of everyday life, expert commentary and analyses, many period engravings, paintings and drawings and more. Includes Life In Anglo-Saxon Times, Life In Medieval Times, Life In Victorian Times.  (英文字幕,英文發音,50 min)

Pygmalion (Leslie Howard) 賣花女

792.6/L635/ W052323V  

 This superlative, award winning film adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's play is as delightful today as when it was first filmed, nearly sixty-five years ago. This ageless story is based upon Greek mythology in which an ivory statue of a maiden, Galatea, is brought to life by the prayers of its sculptor, Pygmalion. In the film, a professor of linguistics, Henry Higgins (Leslie Howard), takes a cockney flower seller, Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller), and bets that, within a matter of six months, he can turn her into a lady who can pass in high society without betraying her lowly origins.  (96 min.)

Gunpowder, Treason & Plot- Gillies MacKinnon



Gunpowder, Treason & Plot was a 2004 BBC miniseries loosely based upon the lives of Mary, Queen of Scots and her son James I of England. The writer Jimmy McGovern tells the story behind the Gunpowder Plot in two parts, each centred on one of the monarchs.

Directed by Gillies MacKinnon and filmed in Romania with a key Scottish crew, the first film dramatizes the relationship between Mary, Queen of Scots, played by French actress Clémence Poésy, and her third husband, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell played by Kevin McKidd. Scottish actor Robert Carlyle stars as James I in the second part of the series, which concentrates on the Gunpowder Plot, planned by Guy Fawkes, to blow up the Houses of Parliament in order to rid the nation of a Protestant monarch to be replaced by a Catholic one. McGovern had previously covered the Plot in the one-hour play Traitors for BBC2's Screenplay strand, transmitted on November 5, 1990.

Frankenstein: The Making of The Monster (from the Great Books series)


A dark tower. A stormy night. An experiment challenging the limits of science. A monster is created - and forces are unleashed which the creator cannot control. Why are we still fascinated with Mary Shelley's nightmare? Vivid dramatizations and interviews illuminate the terrifying question that readers have been troubled by for centuries: Is there a little bit of Frankenstein's monster in all of us? Feel the power of this horrific creature alive in your home. And understand why this masterpiece continues to shock readers to this very day.
Le Morte D'Arthur: The Legend of The King (from the Great Books series)


How did the legend of Camelot inspire George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy? Was Arthur real? Did the Round Table exist? View the evidence of the history underlying the legend. Take a trip to the possible site of Camelot. Understand the human yearning for heroes that has inspired medieval kings and modern democracies. Enter a world of chivalry, loyalty, myth and legend as we explore the fantasy of Camelot in Le Morte D'Arthur.

This is an excellent video from the A&E/Discovery Great Books series. It covers the myth and reality of Arthur and was totally absorbing. I highly recommend this one, especially from British Lit 1/medieval lit courses with a heavy Arthurian content.  (two versions: with or without Chinese subtitles)  --Dr. Marguerite Connor

Knights of the Round Table EV820/018B01 The newly crowned king of all England, Arthur Pendragon, dedicates his reign and the fellowship of the Knights of the Round Table to the ideals of peace, justice and chivalry. Supporting Arthur in his vision are his beloved Queen Guinevere, the noble Sir Lancelot and the mysterious Merlin. Lancelot and Guinevere are torn between their secret love for one another and their loyalty to Arthur.
The Legend of Arthur


This program presents an examination of the blend of history, mythology, religion, and prophetic dreams that constitute the development of the Arthurian legend. It shows us Glastonbury and other sites where the legend is set, illuminations and other illustrations of the Arhtur stories, and covers both the principle tales and their meanings- particularly the search for the Holy Grail, for purity, a search that must end within the searcher himself.

This is an older video than the Great Books version, and not nearly as good. Skip it for the former. My students were totally lost. No subtitles.  --Dr. Marguerite Connor

Terry Jones' Medieval Lives

Terry Jones' Medieval Lives

DVD/ 900 / M647

Terry Jones brings his inimitable style, a mix of goofy humor and scholarly inquisitiveness, to the subject of the Middle Ages in Terry Jones' Medieval Lives. While best known as an alum of Monty Python's Flying Circus, Jones is also somewhat of a historian, and it's obvious that he loves delving into the past, bringing to life the characters of antiquity with as much enthusiasm and skill as he brought to comedy sketches with Python. In this adventure he is focusing on the medieval world to find out what it was really like, and dispels some tired old misconceptions and brings to light new discoveries. The series is broken up into individual episodes focusing on one social class of the time: kings, priests, peasants, knights, and so on. Interspersing documentarian moments of research with goofy skits and Terry Gilliam-esque animations to illustrate his point, Jones assumes the roles himself (a bumbling priest, a weary peasant) and presents the mini skits in his particular comedic style as a supplement to his narrative. -- From Amazon  

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