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I have to read Shakespeare for my UCLA class. I was dreading just reading it by myself. We were encourage to watch performances of the production to help us understand what's going on. I had some extra credits at audibles, so I purchased this audio book which was very helpful.
The "Pass Master" or narrator did a very good job of guiding me through the play. For my assignment, I read along. The "Pass Master" explains thing well. She translates unfamiliar terms, talks about theme and summarizes passages well.
The play it's (with commentary) is very long (nearly 5 hours) but I felt I got so much more out of this audio version than I would have if I just read it or even watched it.
There was another audio book that was a performance and commentary but because the audio clip did not give an example of how the performance and commentary would be mixed, I went with this audio because the sample demonstrated how the two were intermixed. I like the way the "pass master" interjects. Her voice is delightful to listen to.
I wish they had "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Much Ado About Nothing" Henry the forth", Henry the 5th and hamlet in this series. That would make my last quarter at school go so well.
I have a rather eclectic love of books. I know what I like and I tend not to be a severe critic. If I enjoyed it, it gets 4 or 5 stars.
I used this with my class of 9th grade students. It is really very good. The play is read by different voices and there is a moderator who stops things when it gets confusing and explains what is going on. She gives a lot of history as well, which I thought was helpful.
Once you get used to the narrator jumping in and out of the story you realize how helpful this technique is to understanding not just the story, characters and language but also the customs of the time.
I found the Narrator on this title to be annoying: overly enthusiastic over every detail. This became cloying after 10 minutes or so.
It was also not helpful for me to have Elizabethan English explained using modern British slang. Who is the intended audience here? It looks like it's British teenagers.
The story is, of course, timeless.
A more universal English would have been more appropriate, since this title is sold on both sides of the "pond", to adults of all ages.
The explanations were great for my students to hear as they follow along in their text books. There were better explanations for context than our textbooks have.
I would recommend this recording for any teacher about to embark on teaching Romeo and Juliet to her class.
The explanation of the text as it played was exceptional.I could not have done much better myself.
I had no favorite scene, they were all good.
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