Shakespeare really understood women. The emotions, twists and turns that Cleopatra goes through are phenomenal.
I remember the first time I saw Shakespeare as if it were the week before last. I was seven and I was taken to see Macbeth at my brother’s school; he played Duncan. He said: “What bloody man is that?” I thought it was a very, very racy line because he said “bloody”.
I missed my graduation ceremony so I could go and see Sir Laurence in Titus Andronicus three days running.
Dame Judi Dench, who played Ophelia in Hamlet in 1957, on what Shakespeare means to her. Photograph: Jimmy Sime/Getty Images