Macbeth – Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, is coming back from battle with his friends Banquo when they meet three witches. They predict that Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor and then king while Banquo’s sons will be kings. A messenger from the King arrives and calls Macbeth Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth is puzzled by the truthfulness of the prediction. When king Duncan decides to stay at Macbeth’s castle, he kills him with the help of his wife. Duncan’s sons escape. Macbeth is elected king, but the prophecy continues to worry him.
He sends two killers to murder Banquo and his son, Fleance, but Fleance escapes. From this moment on Macbeth’ s career of crimes and murders has no end. When he orders to murder Lady Macduff and her children, Macduff, Duncan’s sons and other expatriate lords lead an army against Macbeth. Macbeth asks the witches again about his future, and learns that he cannot be defeated by any man born of woman. He feels safe, but Macduff, born by Caesarean section, will kill him in the final battle.
A Midsummer night’s dream – Hermia, a girl of high social class, refuses to marry Demetrius, the man chosen by her father, because she is in love with Lysander. Hermia and Lysander escape through the forest. Helena, Hermia’s friend, rejected by Demetrius, reveals him the plan and they follow Hermia and her lover. Meanwhile, to punish Titania, the queen of fairies, king Oberon asks Puck to pour a potion into her eyes while she is sleeping. It will make her fall in love with the first living thing she sees on waking. But Puck pours the juice on the wrong people: Lysander and Demetrius fall in love with Helena, and Titania falls in love with Bottom. He is an artisan-actor rehearsing in the forest with his company and Puck has transformed him into a donkey. Eventually all misunderstandings will be cleared and the couples will be reunited.
The Tempest – After attending his daughter’s wedding in Tunis, Africa, King Alonso of Naples sails for Italy with his court and Antonio, duke of Milan. They encounter a violent storm, and are shipwrecked on a strange island inhabited by the magician Prospero who has provoked the storm. Prospero – former Duke of Milan exiled by Antonio – and his daughter Miranda live on the island together with Ariel, a spirit at Prospero’s order, and the ugly, half human Caliban. After various adventures and magic tricks, Prospero pardons Antonio, gives up his magic art and sails for Naples to celebrate the marriage of Miranda and Alonso’s son Ferdinand.
Othello – Iago is Othello’s officer and expects to be promoted to lieutenat. When the African General gives the post to Cassio, Iago plots revenge on both of them. He has Othello denounced for an illicit relationship with Desdemona, but Othello demonstrates that their love is innocent and asks to marry her. The Duke orders Othello to sail to Cyprus and stop the Turskish invasion. In Cyprus Iago gets Cassio drunk so that Othello deprives him of his rank. Then Iago convinces Cassio to ask Desdemona to plead for him. In the meantime he insinuates to Othello that Desdemona is Cassio’s lover and even builds up evidence of her unfaithfulness.Othello, eaten with jealousy, kills Desdemona in her bed and commits suicide when he discovers the truth.
Romeo and Juliet – Verona. The noble families Capulet and Montague have been feuding for a long time. Romeo, the son of the Montagues, and Juliet Montecchi meet at a ball, fall in love and decide to get married at once with the help of Friar Lawrence. Unfortunately Romeo is involved in a duel between his friend Mercutio and Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin. When Tybalt kills Mercutio, Romeo attacks Tybalt in a fury and kills him. To punish Romeo for breaking peace in Verona, the Prince banishes him to Mantua. Juliet wants to reach Romeo and asks Friar Lawrence to help her. The Friar gives her a sleeping potion which makes her fall into a deep sleep similar to death. Romeo, hearing that Juliet id dead, rushes to her tomb and, after a last kiss, drinks poison and dies. When Juliet awakes, she sees Romeo’s body and stabs herself.
The Merchant of Venice – Bassanio, a young Venetian gentleman, asks Antonio for money and gets it from Shylock using the merchant’s name and guarantee. Shylock is a Jewish money-lender, whose daughter Jessica elopes with Lorenzo, a friend of Bassanio’s. The couple find refuge in Belmont where Bassanio lives with his recently conquered wife Portia. News that Antonio cannot pay the money back reaches Bassanio and he hurries to Venice to help Antonio. His wife Portia, disguised as a lawyer, defends Antonio from Shylock’s legal request: a pound of flesh. Accused of attempting the life of a Venetian citizen, Shylock is deprived of all his properties and forced to become Christian.
King Lear – King Lear decides to retire and to divide his kingdom among his three daughters – Goneril, Regan and Cordelia – according to their affection for him. Goneril and Regan make false profession of love and get half the kingdom each. Cordelia, who speaks real words of love and loyalty, is disinherited and banished. When Goneril and Reagan refuse to accommodate King Lear and turn him out of doors into a storm, the old King realizes he has been unjust and unwise. But too late: he and Cordelia are taken prisoner, Cordelia is killed and King Lear, now a broken man, also dies.
Much Ado about Nothing (1598 – 99)- Messina. A pair of lovers, Claudio and Hero, are going to get married. They try to trick Beatrice and Benedick, into confessing their love for one another. On the other hand, the prince’s brother Don John, jealous of both Don Pedro’s power and this affection for Claudio, conspires to sabotage the coming wedding. He makes Claudio believe Hero is unfaithful so that the young lover rejects her at the altar. Fortunately, Dogberry, a Constable master of puns (malapropism), discovers the evil trickery of the villain Don John. In the end, Don John is captured and the two couples can celebrate their wedding