1. The same old story
Whether you’re a cinemagoer, a fan of TV drama or you love a good novel, you’ll have seen similar storylines cropping up time and again.
Many writers and academics have asked whether just a few basic plots have ever existed, spanning the centuries from the Minotaur to Mad Max, from Shakespeare to Star Wars.
The 18th Century Italian playwright Carlo Gozzi declared there were 36 possible plots. Two hundred and fifty years later, author Christopher Booker claimed there were only seven.
2. The seven plots in action
In his book The Seven Basic Plots, Christopher Booker used examples ranging from ancient myths and folk tales to the popular movies and soap operas we watch today. Select a plot to find out more.
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3. Raising the Bard
For most of us these days, screenwriters and directors are our master storytellers. But some of the most popular movie franchises owe a huge debt to literary giants from history, in particular Shakespeare.
Professor Diane Purkiss visits Elstree Studios to explore the similarities between Star Wars and Shakespeare's so-called Henry Plays.
Shakespeare himself was well known for borrowing heavily from classic stories – and he wasn’t alone. It’s possible to trace back Christopher Booker’s monster plot more than 3,000 years.
4. The monster millennia
5. The Bard vs the Force
Are the following quotes said in a Shakespeare play or one of the Star Wars films?