When Niccolò Machiavelli penned The Prince - a heartless guide to creating and retaining autocratic political power that makes no place for idealism and lofty virtues - he came to be widely regarded as the Devil's servant. Over the centuries, though, The Prince has come to be viewed as a classic text of political theory, a manifesto of bare-knuckles business management, and a significant piece of Renaissance literature. This program, made up of 26 one-to-five-minute segments, combines audio narration and simple animations to provide an easy-to-understand introduction to every chapter of Machiavelli's controversial masterwork.
Using drawings, paintings, letters, maps, and footage of notable landmarks, this program presents the adventures and tribulations of Miguel de Cervantes, arguably the best-known figure in Spanish literary history. In addition to Don Quixote, one of the most influential and widely read classics in Western literature, the program also introduces Cervantes' Novelas Ejemplares, a group of short stories that he claimed were the first to be written in Castilian.
This program weaves art, music, and literature with Western culture to explore the enormous impact of Cervantes' classic on our world today. Artists, critics, and others, from novelist Carlos Fuentes to General Norman Schwarzkopf, reveal how the work-the most translated in history-has affected their lives. Mixing discussions of the text with music, poems, other writings influenced by Don Quixote, and clips from the many film versions of the work, the program explores the conflict between imagination and reality, masculine and feminine attitudes toward love, and other themes. This is a rich resource for the study of Don Quixote and of the influence of art on life.
Thomas More's Utopia, one of the most significant texts of English humanism, has become the ideal for a society based on fundamental human principles of fairness and justice. This program follows the progress of More's intellectual development, from his early friendship with the influential humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam, to his rise to power as a member of Parliament and later Chancellor of England, through his tempestuous relationship with King Henry VIII-who would eventually break away from the Catholic Church and set into motion More's execution. In this program, quotations from Utopia serve as a dramatic counterpoint to More's own life story, bringing into stark relief the contrast between his idealized state and the real world in which he lived and died.