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Shakespeare

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Tad Davis

Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA
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  • "Prentice work"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's been a major treat finally having the Arkangel Shakespeare available on Audible - almost as good as finally getting the Beatles on iTunes. This remarkable series of recordings includes every play Shakespeare wrote, in a full-court-press audio production with sound effects and an original score. The series is 10-15 years old at this point, but it holds up magnificently.

    "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" is not one of Shakespeare's best. My own private theory is that it was his first play, written before he even left Stratford. Most of the scenes involve only two people; the famous (or infamous) last scene leaves one character, Sylvia, mute for the last 10 minutes. The turning point of the play is completely unbelievable. The puns, some of them tedious to begin with, go on forever, and there's a surprising carelessness about place names. It's definitely prentice work.

    On the other hand, the play has the servant Launce and his dog Crab. Launce is played here by the brilliant John Woodvine: if you're old enough, you may remember him as the evil uncle from the sprawling stage production of "Nicholas Nickleby." Launce is dumb as a post, but not so dumb that he can't see that his master, Proteus, is a scoundrel. Proteus is played by Michael Maloney (who did a brilliant turn as the Dauphin in Branagh's "Henry V"); he tries to betray the love interest of his best friend, Valentine, played by Damian Lewis (quite a change from his more recent incarnation on "Homeland"). In fact, one of the pleasures to be had from the series is recognizing the voices of actors who are better-known in other contexts.

    The music for all of the Arkangel productions is composed by Dominique Le Gendre. The score sounds like the kind of jazzy, smoky music you'd hear in the background at a candlelit dinner. Usually it works, but the one criticism I have of the production is that his version of "Who is Sylvia?" misses the mark, with an overly complex melody that doesn't quite fit the pace of the lyrics. It's a rare misstep in the series.

    If you're going for the Shakespeare highlights, you can give this one a pass. But if you're determined to do the whole canon, it's well worth your while: if nothing else, there's always Crab.

    More

    The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Michael Maloney, Damian Lewis, Saskia Wickham, and others
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Proteus loves Julia in Verona, Valentine loves Silvia in Milan. But when Proteus meets Silvia, he falls for her too, and the heartbroken Julia sets out in pursuit. This delightful and sometimes disquieting early comedy of love lost and found offers lyrical poetry, disguise, clowning, outlaws, and a most unreliable dog.

    Tad Davis says: "Prentice work"
  • "Great production, difficult play"

    Overall

    It's very exciting to see the Naxos Shakespeare recordings appearing on Audible in the new enhanced format. If you can manage the extra space they take up, small enough in the grand scheme of things, the improvement in sound quality is well worth it. The crispness of the music and voices, and the stereo effects, come through particularly well in this recording.

    That said, this is a tough play. Portia is probably the most appealing character in the bunch, but even she has a dark side: she is, after all, the main engine of Shylock's downfall. Anthony Sher gives a somber and dignified performance as Shylock: not necessarily a man more sinned against than sinning, but a man plenty sinned against.

    Shakespeare, here as always, remains an unblinking observer of all sides of the moral equation. The Christians spit on Shylock, call him dog, do their best to make his business fail -- one of the only businesses that, by law, he was allowed to engage in. (It's an intriguing biographical footnote that Shakespeare's own father was brought up at one point on charges of usury.)

    Shylock is no passive victim: he fights back with the one tool left him, the commitment of Venice to the rule of law. On the other hand, the awful judgement meted out to him at the end of the trial scene -- an economic straitjacket and a forced conversion -- is allowed to stand: I've seen the play done where Shylock is played as a stereotypical Jewish villain who gets a well-earned comeuppance. The attempts of many recent productions to build sympathy for Shylock are supported but are not required by the text itself. However nuanced the production -- and this one is finely nuanced -- this ambiguity about its sympathies makes it a very hard play to digest.

    In other words, thought-provoking, unsettling, and worth every minute.

    More

    The Merchant of Venice

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Antony Sher
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, agrees to lend Antonio, a Venetian merchant, three thousand ducats so that his friend Bassanio can afford to court his love, Portia. However, Shylock has one condition: Should the loan go unpaid, he will be entitled to a pound of Antonio's own flesh. Meanwhile in Belmont, according to the terms of her father's will, Portia's many suitors must choose correctly from three caskets. Bassanio arrives at Portia's estate and they declare their love for one another before he picks the correct casket.

    Tad Davis says: "Great production, difficult play"
  • "A wonderful production"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some "Hamlets" have more star power, but I've seldom listened to a "Hamlet" that pulled me into the story so effectively. This is partly due to the music. It's jazzy, it's urban, it's jumping with energy. The way rap rhythms are used for the play-within-a-play is brilliant.

    The play has been carefully trimmed: some of the lines have been cut, but all the scenes are here, including (thankfully) Fortinbras and his four captains who bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage. Some of the cut lines involve mythological references; others involve objects that, in this world of flushing toilets, dinging elevators, and cocking pistols, would have seemed out of place. The important thing is that the cuts are "proportional," maintaining the overall structure and pace of the play rather than simply gouging out blocks of text.

    At first the American accents didn't sound "right" doing Shakespeare -- I say that even though I'm an American myself -- but the energy of the performances got me over that hurdle in short order. (It's certainly preferable to someone trying to fake the accent!) The most jarring note in the production (for me) was the casting of women as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. However, the actresses carry the roles well, and this casting choice even lends a bit of an edge to some of the racy banter between Hamlet and his old classmates.

    I really like this production. It's a full-on radio play with plenty of ambient sound effects; outstanding music; and a crackerjack ensemble cast. I hope Blackstone does more like it in the future.

    More

    Hamlet (Dramatized)

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Oregon Shakespeare Festival cast
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (8)

    Blackstone Audio is proud to present the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s brilliant, modern production of Shakespeare’s disturbing and psychologically rich masterpiece Hamlet. Whether you’re a Hamlet scholar or being exposed to this work for the first time, this stunning work of audio theater, fully dramatized with performances by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival cast, is a must-listen.

    Tad Davis says: "A wonderful production"
  1. The Two Gentlemen of Vero...
  2. The Merchant of Venice
  3. Hamlet (Dramatized)
  4. .

A Peek at brenty's Bookshelf

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United States 60 REVIEWS / 492 ratings Member Since 2008 1 Followers / Following 0
 
brenty's greatest hits:
  • Julius Caesar

    "Devious"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John de Lancie as Cassius is pure gold. I knew I recognized the voice, such a compelling performance. I had to look the credits up on the L.A. Theatre Works web site afterward to be sure. He really stole the show.

    The audio is definitely on the quiet side and hard to make out at times, what with all the scheming at all. But the great ensemble cast really brings this great play to life.

Michele

Michele 01-16-12 Member Since 2001

I am the author of "Inner Fears", a thriller by MFKing. I am a social media manager for Jazz Social Media. Audio books are my main entertainment, and I think the best entertainment offered today.

HELPFUL VOTES
123
ratings
REVIEWS
50
21
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
19
0
  • "Like listening to music"

    3 of 3 helpful votes

    I listen to this when I am going to sleep, or during naps. The rhythm and accent and reading is very soothing, like meditation.

    More

    Shakespeare's Sonnets

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Simon Callow
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Savor the most celebrated love poems in the English language. Written almost 400 years ago, the sonnets of William Shakespeare are passionate and exalted, rich in imagery and alliteration, and full of mystery and intrigue.

    Michele says: "Like listening to music"

What's Trending in Shakespeare:

  • 4.3 (138 ratings)
    Hamlet: Shakespeare Appreciated (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options) (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare, Simon Potter, Phil Viner, Jools Viner Narrated by Joan Walker, Stephen Elder, Paul Clayton

    Hamlet: Shakespeare Appreciated (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Simon Potter, Phil Viner, and others
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Stephen Elder, Paul Clayton
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (90)

    Experience Hamlet as a powerful full-cast drama with entertaining and enlightening commentary that explains what's what and who's who as the plot unfolds. To help you get the most out of Shakespeare, the narrator offers historical insights and background information, so you can enjoy the jokes, appreciate the references, and get a real sense of Shakespeare's world. The unabridged drama is also presented without commentary.

    Shaun says: "Performance great; commentary lacking"
  • 4.4 (125 ratings)
    BBC Radio Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Dramatized)  by William Shakespeare Narrated by David Tennant, Samantha Spiro, Full Cast

    BBC Radio Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By David Tennant, Samantha Spiro, Full Cast
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (70)

    BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.

    David says: "Excellent"
  • 4.7 (117 ratings)
    SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Hamlet (Dramatised, Commentary Options) (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare, Simon Potter Narrated by Joan Walker, Stephen Elder, Paul Clayton

    SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Hamlet (Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Simon Potter
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Stephen Elder, Paul Clayton
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (84)

    The multi award-winning SmartPass study guide with and without commentary options. This is a full-cast, unabridged performance with comprehensive commentary and analysis for any student to fully understand and appreciate the play. Universally accepted as Shakespeare's finest play, we peel back the layers of Hamlet to discover how and why it deserves such a place of honour in world literature.

    Jane says: "Great introduction to Hamlet"
  • 4.4 (84 ratings)
    King Richard III (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Kenneth Branagh, Geraldine McEwan, Nicholas Farrell, Stella Gonet, Michael Maloney

    King Richard III

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Kenneth Branagh, Geraldine McEwan, Nicholas Farrell, and others
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    Written in 1593, King Richard III is one of Shakespeare's earliest plays. This play differs from its predecessors, being amore structured piece, examining the development and motivations of a single character, Richard Duke of Gloucester, who will stop at nothing to gain control of the throne occupied by his brother Edward IV.

    Donald says: "Another NAXOS masterpiece!"
  •  
  • 4.6 (82 ratings)
    SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Macbeth (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options) (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare, Simon Potter Narrated by Full-Cast featuring Joan Walker, Nick Murchie, Coralyn Sheldon

    SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to Macbeth (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Simon Potter
    • Narrated By Full-Cast featuring Joan Walker, Nick Murchie, Coralyn Sheldon
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (50)

    Combined for great value! The multi-award-winning SmartPass study guide with and without commentary options. Full-cast, unabridged performance with comprehensive commentary and analysis for any student to fully understand and appreciate the play.

    "And nothing is, but what is not." Macbeth may be mystified by the Weird Sisters' words but this intense performance with incisive commentary cuts to the heart of Shakespeare's complex psychological tragedy.

    Philip says: "Shakespeare made easy to understand!"
  • 4.3 (76 ratings)
    Macbeth  by William Shakespeare Narrated by James Marsters, Joanne Whalley, Josh Cooke, JD Cullum, Dan Donohue, Jeannie Elias, Chuma Gault

    Macbeth

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Joanne Whalley, Josh Cooke, and others
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (72)

    Infamously known as the cursed Scottish play, Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. When General Macbeth is foretold by three witches that he will one day be King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth convinces him to get rid of anyone who could stand in his way – including committing regicide. As Macbeth ascends to the throne through bloody murder, he becomes a tyrant consumed by fear and paranoia.

    Monika says: "Enjoyable all-cast performance"
  • 4.4 (71 ratings)
    Seven Ages: An Anthology of Poetry with Music  by William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes Narrated by Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench

    Seven Ages: An Anthology of Poetry with Music

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
    • Narrated By Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (49)

    This highly entertaining anthology of verse is the comic, tragic, tender, and telling story of life's seven ages, from childhood to old age. Within the framework of Shakespeare's speech, "The Seven Ages of Man," performed by Sir Ian McKellen, are 150 great poems from all ages, from Chaucer to Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman and many others. The poem are presented by the finest cast ever assembled on one recording and includes Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench, John Cleese, Michael Caine, and more.

    ESK says: "The Anthology of 'Music-Makers'"
  • 4.3 (69 ratings)
    The Tempest (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Ian McKellen, Emilia Fox, Scott Handy, Ben Owukwe

    The Tempest

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen, Emilia Fox, Scott Handy, and others
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (65)

    Sir Ian McKellen, fresh from his performance as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, is Prospero, and heads a strong cast in Shakespeare’s last great play. The wronged duke raises a tempest to shipwreck his old opponents on his island so that he can ensure justice is done. With Emilia Fox as Miranda, Scott Handy in the pivotal role of the sprite Ariel, and Ben Owukwe as Caliban.

    Corey says: "Great Story, audio needs a little tweaking"
  • William Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Peter Saccio

    William Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Peter Saccio
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (33)

    Shakespeare's plays - whether a comedy like A Midsummer Night's Dream, a history like Henry IV, or a tragedy like Hamlet - are treasure troves of insight into our very humanity. These 36 lectures introduce you to Shakespeare's major plays from each of these three genres and explain the achievement that makes him the leading playwright in Western civilization.

    Mikkel says: "Connections across genres"
  • How to Read and Understand Shakespeare  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Marc C. Conner

    How to Read and Understand Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Marc C. Conner
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (21)

    Shakespeare's works are among the greatest of humanity's cultural expressions and, as such, demand to be experienced and understood. But, simply put, Shakespeare is difficult. His language and culture - those of Elizabethan England - are greatly different from our own, and his poetry, thick with metaphorical imagery and double meanings, can be hard to penetrate.

    MR says: "understanding the Bard"
  • Julius Caesar (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Andrew Buchan, Sean Barrett

    Julius Caesar

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Andrew Buchan, Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (187)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (166)

    Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s most compelling Roman plays. The plot against Caesar and the infamous assassination scene make for unforgettable listening. Brutus, the true protagonist of the play, is mesmerizing in his psychological state of anguish, forced to choose between the bonds of friendship and his desire for patriotic justice.

    David says: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars"
  • Seven Ages: An Anthology of Poetry with Music  by William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes Narrated by Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench

    Seven Ages: An Anthology of Poetry with Music

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
    • Narrated By Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (49)

    This highly entertaining anthology of verse is the comic, tragic, tender, and telling story of life's seven ages, from childhood to old age. Within the framework of Shakespeare's speech, "The Seven Ages of Man," performed by Sir Ian McKellen, are 150 great poems from all ages, from Chaucer to Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman and many others. The poem are presented by the finest cast ever assembled on one recording and includes Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench, John Cleese, Michael Caine, and more.

    ESK says: "The Anthology of 'Music-Makers'"
  •  
  • Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by B. J. Harrison

    Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By B. J. Harrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (32)

    The dead do not sleep in Denmark. Thrice the vision of the suddenly departed king has haunted the night watchmen. Upon seeing his own son, prince Hamlet, the ghost calls him away to divulge most nefarious secret. This most noble king was murdered by his own brother, Hamlet's uncle, who now wears his crown and beds his bride. To the prince he charges with the unholy quest to avenge his death and kill his murderer. Young Hamlet, shocked and amazed, swears to do the bloody deed. Thus begins one of the greatest works by the greatest English author - William Shakespeare.

    Casandra says: "Well Done"
  • Shakespeare's Tragedies  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Clare R. Kinney

    Shakespeare's Tragedies

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Clare R. Kinney
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (15)

    Shakespeare's contributions to stage and language are unequaled, audiences left breathless for the past four centuries, his artistry as evident in moments of insensate rage as it is in moments of heartbreaking tenderness.

    Dan says: "Enlightening and well presented"
  • Romeo and Juliet (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Michael Sheen, Kate Beckinsale, full cast

    Romeo and Juliet

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Michael Sheen, Kate Beckinsale, full cast
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (47)

    Here is the full-cast production of Shakespeare's classic love story, fully dramatized from the complete text, and starring Michael Sheen as Romeo and Kate Beckinsale as Juliet.

    Shelly M. Felton says: "Sound Quality is the only drawback"
  • The Modern Scholar: Shakespeare: Ten Great Comedies (






UNABRIDGED) by Raphael Shargel

    The Modern Scholar: Shakespeare: Ten Great Comedies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Raphael Shargel
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Professor Raphael Shargel channels his passion for teaching and expertise as a Shakespearean scholar into this illuminative study of the Immortal Bard's 10 great comedies. Shakespeare's genius is as readily apparent in these comedies as in his timeless tragedies. Often marked by internal and external conflicts, young lovers struggling for union, mistaken identities, and intertwining plots, Shakespeare's comedies to this day reveal the master's unparalleled insight into the human condition.

  •  
  • The Modern Scholar: Shakespeare: The Seven Major Tragedies (






UNABRIDGED) by Harold Bloom

    The Modern Scholar: Shakespeare: The Seven Major Tragedies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Harold Bloom
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    Shakespeare's seven great tragedies contain unmistakable elements that set them apart from any other plays ever written. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare embodied in the character of Juliet the world's most impressive representation ever of a woman in love. With Julius Caesar, the great playwright produced a drama of astonishing and perpetual relevance.

    Ronald says: "Lowest WPM Ever"
  • Henry V: Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Jamie Glover, Brian Cox, Elizabeth Spriggs

    Henry V: Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Jamie Glover, Brian Cox, Elizabeth Spriggs
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Henry V is a study of kingship, patriotism, and heroic determination tempered by tender comedy as Henry courts Katherine, princess of France. Henry, the noble and courageous young king of England, decides to invade France, believing he has a rightful claim to the throne. At Agincourt he leads his army into battle against the powerful French forces and, against all the odds, wins a famous victory.

  • Macbeth  by William Shakespeare Narrated by James Marsters, Joanne Whalley, Josh Cooke, JD Cullum, Dan Donohue, Jeannie Elias, Chuma Gault

    Macbeth

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Joanne Whalley, Josh Cooke, and others
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (72)

    Infamously known as the cursed Scottish play, Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. When General Macbeth is foretold by three witches that he will one day be King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth convinces him to get rid of anyone who could stand in his way – including committing regicide. As Macbeth ascends to the throne through bloody murder, he becomes a tyrant consumed by fear and paranoia.

    Monika says: "Enjoyable all-cast performance"
  • BBC Radio Shakespeare: Othello (Dramatized)  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Ray Fearon, Anastasia Hille, Full Cast

    BBC Radio Shakespeare: Othello (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Ray Fearon, Anastasia Hille, Full Cast
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.

    Carol says: "Good Way to Understand Shakespeare"
  • The Great American Bathroom Book, Shakespeare: Summaries of Shakespeare's Best-Known Works (






ABRIDGED) by Stevens W. Anderson Narrated by Compact Classics

    The Great American Bathroom Book, Shakespeare: Summaries of Shakespeare's Best-Known Works

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Stevens W. Anderson
    • Narrated By Compact Classics
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Ignoring the opportunity to own a comprehensive guide to one of the world's most creative literary minds would be an Elizabethan tragedy of modern proportions. Elevating your intellect to become a Shakespeare connoisseur has never been easier or this much fun with The Great American Bathroom Book Shakespeare edition!

  • King Lear: Arkangel Shakespeare (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Trevor Peacock, Clive Merrison, full cast

    King Lear: Arkangel Shakespeare

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Trevor Peacock, Clive Merrison, full cast
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    This shattering drama of isolation and loss is one of the greatest tragedies in world literature. King Lear of Britain has three daughters: the hard-hearted Goneril and Regan, and the good and gentle Cordelia. He determines to divide his kingdom between them, giving the largest share to she who can say she loves him the best. Lear's tragic lack of judgment and self-knowledge is paralleled by the blindness of the loyal Gloucester who is persuaded to reject his virtuous son, Edgar, in favor of the villainous Edmund.

  • Macbeth: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Hugh Ross, Harriet Walter

    Macbeth: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Hugh Ross, Harriet Walter
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The brave warrior Macbeth allows himself to be persuaded by Lady Macbeth, his wife, to slay good King Duncan and seize the throne of Scotland for himself. Macbeth achieves his ambition, but one murder proves not to be enough as he desperately attempts to eliminate all who might threaten his ill-gotten power. Descending into paranoia, Macbeth achieves his ambition but ravages his soul.

  • Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, Bob Peck, Norman Rodway

    Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, and others
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Distressed by his father's death and his mother's over-hasty remarriage, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is faced by a specter from beyond the grave bearing a grim message of murder and revenge. The young prince is driven to the edge of madness by his struggle to understand the situation he finds himself in and to do his duty. Many others, including Hamlet's beloved, the innocent Ophelia, are swept up in his tragedy.

  •  
  • Julius Caesar: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Michael Feast, John Bowe, Adrian Lester

    Julius Caesar: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Michael Feast, John Bowe, Adrian Lester
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    At the heart of this tragic history is one of Shakespeare's most noble characters, the statesman Brutus, who is caught in a devastating conflict between private affection and public duty.

    Julius Caesar has become the most powerful man in the Rome. Does his power now threaten the very existence of the Republic itself? A conspiracy is hatched, one that will have fatal consequences not only for Caesar and the conspirators but for the future history of the ancient world.

  • Love's Labor's Lost: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Alex Jennings, Emma Fielding, Samantha Bond, Greg Wise, Alan Howard

    Love's Labor's Lost: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings, Emma Fielding, Samantha Bond, and others
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    The young king of Navarre and three of his courtiers have vowed to lock themselves away for three years of study and fasting, and to forswear the company of women for this period. No sooner is their vow made than it is tested, however, as the princess of France and three of her ladies arrive in Navarre on a diplomatic mission. The young men fall instantly and hopelessly in love, and the tension between their vow and their passion forms the subject of this charming and sparkling early comedy.

  • King John: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Michael Feast, Michael Maloney, Eileen Atkins

    King John: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Michael Feast, Michael Maloney, Eileen Atkins
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    King John of England is pitted against the united powers of France, Brittany, Austria, and the Papacy. Will England be destroyed by his fatal indecision? As alliances are made, broken, and remade, the paranoid and erratic John reveals his weakness and reliance on those around him - including his powerful mother, Queen Elinor, and Faulconbridge, the cynical and witty bastard son of the dead King Richard I.

  • Cymbeline: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Sophie Thompson, Ben Porter, Jack Shepherd, Suzanne Bertish, Stephen Mangan, Ron Cook

    Cymbeline: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Sophie Thompson, Ben Porter, Jack Shepherd, and others
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    Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline, is persecuted by her wicked stepmother, the Queen, and by Cloten, the Queen's doltish son. Disguised as a boy, she sets out to find her husband, the banished Posthumus. On her journey, she unwittingly meets her two brothers, stolen from the court as infants. Posthumus, meanwhile, has been convinced by the villainous Iachimo that Imogen is unchaste and agrees to a test of her faithfulness.

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  • Measure for Measure: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Simon Russell Beale, Roger Allam, Stella Gonet

    Measure for Measure: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Simon Russell Beale, Roger Allam, Stella Gonet
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    Telling his followers he is leaving the city on affairs of state, the Duke of Vienna appoints the puritanical Angelo to govern in his absence. Will Angelo prove as virtuous as he seems once power is in his hands? Roaming the city disguised as a friar, the duke looks on as Angelo's lust for the virtuous Isabella sweeps him into the corruption he has so sternly condemned in others. The duke's manipulation at last produces a happy ending for this dark comedy, with its brilliant exploration of the themes of justice and mercy.