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Shakespeare

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Tad Davis

Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA Member Since 2005
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  • "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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    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"
  • "Another rousing Shakespeare"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Blackstone Audio have joined forces to give us another rousing production of Shakespeare. (Their earlier production, of "Hamlet," is one of the more compelling productions of that play available on Audible.) The audio production is based on an OSF stage production from 2011.

    Some will object to the updating. This production has a strong Latino flavor, with mariachi music and bits and pieces of Spanish dialogue scattered throughout the play. There are electric buzzers, intercoms, sliding gates, and car horns. That kind of thing has never bothered me as long as the production remains true to the basic issues in the play and the truth of the characters; and that's certainly the case here. (If the BBC can set their audio production of "Julius Caesar" in Mussolini's Italy, why not this?) The sound engineers have created a completely convincing, lived-in world.

    The production is helped by strong performances from Anthony Heald as the Duke and Stephanie Beatriz as Isabella. The Duke is often portrayed as a kind of brooding, mysterious presence, but Heald plays him as slightly vulnerable and often uncertain, even frantic, about what needs to happen next. Nothing quite makes up for the cruel trick he plays on Isabella - letting her believe her brother has been executed, when he hasn't been, in order to test her mettle - but that's the way Shakespeare wrote it.

    The main disappointment, for me, was in the "comic relief." Lucio and his cronies come off a bit flat against the lively background. A minor flaw in an otherwise excellent piece of work. Looking forward to more OSF productions on audio!

    More

    Measure for Measure (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Oregon Shakespeare Festival
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Blackstone Audio is proud to present the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s production of Measure for Measure, Shakespeare’s compelling tragicomedy that explores restraint—and lack thereof. The duke’s authoritarian deputy, Angelo, is hell-bent on stamping out moral decay. He reactivates outdated draconian laws and aims his arrogant crosshairs at a young man whose fiancée is pregnant, sentencing him to death. Angelo is sternly incorruptible—until he meets Isabela....

    Tad Davis says: "Another rousing Shakespeare"
  1. The Merchant of Venice
  2. Hamlet (Dramatized)
  3. Measure for Measure (Dram...
  4. .

A Peek at Mikkel's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
9
 
Aarhus V, Denmark 4 REVIEWS / 31 ratings Member Since 2009 0 Followers / Following 0
 
Mikkel's greatest hits:
  • William Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies

    "Connections across genres"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to William Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies the most enjoyable?

    Peter Saccio unfolds an extremely varied interpretation looking both at the structure of entire plays and sometimes at single soliloquies. He has a flair for knowing the exact amount of context needed to make his point, so that he is never far from Shakespeare's text. Thoroughly recommended for people who enjoy exercising their interpretative muscles and thinking along.


    What about Professor Peter Saccio’s performance did you like?

    That he obviously lives and breathes Shakespeare in that he has a lifelong relationship with and passion for the plays. He rarely gets pver-excited, though, and comes off as an intelligent man saying intelligent things about a subject he knows a lot about. If you yourself like or love Shakespeare this is the next best thing to discussing the text with like-minded fellows.


    Any additional comments?

    Be aware that not all of Shakespeare's plays are considered, although the big four tragedies, The Henriad, Richard III, Measure for Measure,The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice must be said to be a quite a representative selection.

Amazon Customer

Amazon Customer Utah 04-09-13 Member Since 2009

tired teacher

HELPFUL VOTES
871
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329
205
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FOLLOWING
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0
  • "What a great way to "read" ..."

    5 of 5 helpful votes

    Let's admit it, Shakespeare is daunting! I have a goal to read all of the plays, and then perhaps the sonnets, etc., but sometimes I don't know where to start. When I found this audio book that includes a commentary, I snapped it up. I could listen to and enjoy the fabulous play, but when I got lost or just didn't understand something, the commentator was there to help. She helped me understand word usage of the time, symbolism, and other useful things that are jam-packed in this play and make it the classic that it is. For me it was perfect. You can listen without the commentary as well, for people who would rather not have those comments going on but want to hear some great readers performing this play. I will definitely pick up other titles in this series.

    More

    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
    (127)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (80)

    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"

What's Trending in Shakespeare:

  • 4.4 (127 ratings)

    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
    (127)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (80)

    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 (119 ratings)

    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
    (119)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (65)

    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.

    Jessica says: "Abridged and altered"
  • 4.7 (111 ratings)

    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
    (111)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (79)

    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 (80 ratings)

    King Richard III

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Kenneth Branagh, Geraldine McEwan, Nicholas Farrell, and others
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    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!"
  •  
  • 4.7 (73 ratings)

    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
    (73)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    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 (60 ratings)

    The Tempest

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen, Emilia Fox, Scott Handy, and others
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (57)

    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"
  • 4.3 (59 ratings)

    Macbeth

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Joanne Whalley, Josh Cooke, and others
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (55)

    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.

    Laura says: "All hail this Macbeth!"
  • 4.4 (59 ratings)

    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
    (59)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    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'"
  •  
  • 4.4 (51 ratings)

    Julius Caesar: Shakespeare Appreciated (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options)

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By William Shakespeare, Simon Potter, David Cottis, and others
    • Narrated By Joan Walker, Gregory Cox, Colin Campbell
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    Experience Julius Caesar 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.

    Laura Quave says: "Excellent young scholar's intro to Shakespeare"
  • How to Read and Understand Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Marc C. Conner
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    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"
  • William Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Peter Saccio
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    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"
  • Macbeth

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Joanne Whalley, Josh Cooke, and others
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (55)

    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.

    Laura says: "All hail this Macbeth!"
  • Romeo and Juliet

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Michael Sheen, Kate Beckinsale, full cast
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (37)

    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 says: "Sound Quality is the only drawback"
  •  
  • Julius Caesar

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Andrew Buchan, Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (92)

    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"
  • Romeo and Juliet

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Calista Flockhart, Matthew Wolf, Julie White, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (68)

    The most iconic love story of all time, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is an epic-scale tragedy of desire and revenge. Despite the bitter rivalry that exists between their families, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet have fallen madly in love. But when the long-running rivalry boils over into murder, the young couple must embark on a dangerous and deadly mission to preserve their love at any cost. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Calista Flockhart as Juliet.

    William says: "Dramatized drama at its best..."
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen, Prunella Scales, Frank Duncan, and others
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Lovers lives are complicated by city law, feuding faerie royalty, and, yes, love. Sir Ian McKellen, Prunella Scales, Frank Duncan, and Joan Hart perform Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

  • Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By B. J. Harrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    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"
  •  
  • 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
    (127)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (80)

    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"
  • Othello (Dramatized)

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ewan McGregor, Kelly Reilly
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Shakespeare's Othello is one of his finest and most famous tragedies. This highly acclaimed performance, which ran between November 2007 and February 2008 at the Donmar Warehouse in London, features Chiwetel Ejiofor as the Moor Othello, Ewan McGregor as the scheming Iago, and Kelly Reilly as the gentle Desdemona. This recording features music written specifically for the stage production which enjoyed huge success - each performance was a sell-out.

    M. W. Roberts says: "Goats and Monkeys!"
  • BBC Radio Shakespeare: Hamlet (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Michael Sheen, Kenneth Cranham, Juliet Stevenson, and others
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    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.

    Anika says: "Very Enjoyable"
  • Julius Caesar

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Richard Dreyfuss, JoBeth Williams, Kelsey Grammer, and others
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    The skies over ancient Rome blaze with terrifying portents, and soothsayers warn Julius Caesar of approaching doom. As conspiracy swirls through the city, Shakespeare explores the deep repercussions of political murder on the human heart. A classic tale of duplicity, betrayal and murder, masterfully performed by an all-star, all-American cast in this BBC co-production.

    Daniel says: "Hard to understand using #4 Audio"
  • King Lear

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By a full cast
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    King Lear is ready to turn his realm over to his three daughters. His plan is simple: Give the biggest piece to the daughter who loves him most. But honeyed words and hubris blind Lear to the true motives of those around him, plunging king and kingdom into a hell of treachery, madness, and unspeakable acts - with consequences that reveal the worst and best in human nature.

  • Hamlet

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr and 18 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Macelo Armand, Aldo Lumbía, Jorge Mansilla, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    El rey Hamlet ha muerto envenenado. En su lugar, asume su hermano, Claudio, y al poco tiempo se casa con la reina Gertrudis. Pero el príncipe Hamlet sospecha, y la aparición del fantasma de su padre le da la razón. En plan de vengarse, finge locura. ¿Pero hasta qué punto esa locura es fingida? ¿Cuánto de simulacro y cuánto de enfermedad hay en su representación? Obra maestra e indiscutida de la literatura universal, el drama creado por William Shakespeare en 1601 alcanza uno de los puntos más altos de las letras de todos los tiempos.

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 57 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Simon Helberg, Glenne Headly, Hector Elizondo, and others
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Shakespeare combined his love of theater with Greek mythology and the supernatural to create what is arguably his most playfully imaginative work. From love potions to bizarre transformations to the unforgettable play-within-a-play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a non-stop delight, and remains one of the milestones of the Bard’s canon. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance.

  • Two Gentlemen of Verona

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 55 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Peter Wyngarde, Edward DeSouza, full cast
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1590 or 1591. It is considered by some to be Shakespeare's first play, and is often seen as his first tentative steps in laying out some of the themes and tropes with which he would later deal in more detail. The play deals with the themes of friendship and infidelity, the conflict between friendship and love, and the foolish behaviour of people in love.

  •  
  • Eugénie Grandet

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Honoré de Balzac
    • Narrated By Jonathan Fried
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Hailed as the father of the naturalist novel, French author and playwright Honoré de Balzac left a legacy of treasured literary works that include Père Goriot and Cousin Bette. The daughter of a wealthy but miserly man, Eugénie Grandet falls in love with her penniless cousin, Charles. The two plan to marry, but at the behest of her father, Charles must first go overseas to make his fortune. Returning years later, Charles calls off the engagement, leaving Eugénie heartbroken and vengeful.

  • Much Ado About Nothing

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Full Cast
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A Classic recording of Shakespeare's well-loved comedy. Cast including renowned Shakespearean actors John Gielgud, Peggy Ashcroft and Gary Watson.

  • Timon of Athens

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The noble Timon lavishes wealth and kindness upon his friends. But what happens to their allegience when his fortunes begin to fail?

  • Shakespeare's Sonnets

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By full cast
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
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    Shakespeare's Sonnets are as important and vital today as they were when first published four hundred years ago. All 154 sonnets are read by an all star cast including Simon Callow, Kim Cattrall, Oliver Ford Davies, Stephen Fry, Sir Andrew Motion, Sian Philips, Diana Quick, Jemma Redgrave, Simon Russell Beale, Fiona Shaw, Sir Patrick Stewart, David Tennant and Dominic West. This recording is released alongside a spectacular edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets for the Apple iPad.