William Shakespeare may have been the greatest playwright in the English language, but how does he measure up as a historian? In this brilliant comparison between the events and characters in Shakespeare's history plays and the actual events that inspired them, acclaimed historian John Julius Norwich examines the nine works that together amount to an epic masterpiece on England's most fascinating period.
"The program demands an optional headline"
By the time Shakespeare came to write Macbeth - almost certainly in 1605/1606 - he had already completed three of the great tragedies with which modern audiences are so familiar: Hamlet (1601), Othello (1603), and King Lear (1605). Each of those plays gives us an eponymous hero who is in some significant way flawed, but for whom we also inevitably feel deep sympathy, whatever his errors or crimes. But in MacBeth, Shakespeare has chosen for his tragic hero a man guilty of the most terrible crime imaginable to a Jacobean audience, that of regicide - the murder of a king.
"Hoping for Enhanced Format"
Hamlet, which dates from 1600-1601, is the first in Shakespeare's great series of four tragedies. In writing this extraordinary play, Shakespeare effectively re-invented tragedy after an interval of roughly 2,000 years - you would have to go back to the Greek dramatists of fifth century Athens to find anything of comparable depth and maturity. This production features the voice of Anton Lesser as Hamlet along with a full cast.
Now, for the first time in audio, Blackstone presents seven great plays in one volume: Euripides' Medea, Shakespeare's The Tempest, Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, Dumas' Camille, Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, Shaw's Arms and the Man, and Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. These productions illustrate the development of European drama from ancient times to the threshold of the modern theater.
"Badly Done Plays"
"All the world's a stage...." In the enchanted forest of Arden, everyone has their way. Sins are forgiven, quarrels are resolved, and love rules over all. And - just as the author liked it - the frolic of clowns and comedy includes provocative insight into nature versus society and into humanity itself. Follow Orlando, Celia, Rosalind, and Touchstone the Clown from court to forest in this play that features disguised princesses, an unjustly deposed ruler, and a handsome leading couple. Actors Vanessa Redgrave (Rosalind) and Keith Michell (Orlando) head the cast of celebrity performers in this Shakespearean romp of mischief, intrigue, and surprise.
"sometimes, oldest is best"
"Great play, acting not bad"
Henry V, which dates from 1599, is the last in Shakespeare's series of plays based on English history. It is also, of course, among the Bard's best-known and most-performed works. It's given rich new life here by a full-cast presentation that combines classic literature with classical music.
"take a soldier"
A king's mad jealousy tears his family apart in this rich, tragicomic play, one of Shakespeare's last. When King Leontes suspects his wife, Hermione, has been unfaithful, he sends her to prison, where she gives birth to a daughter. Assuming the baby is not his, Leontes orders that she be left to die on a desert shore. He spends the next 16 years grieving over his error, until the fateful day his long-lost daughter Perdita returns.
Not sure that a modernized movie-version of Hamlet is your goblet of tea? Hear Frank Muller, the preeminent narrator of the audiobook world, play every part in arguably the best audio version of Hamlet available.
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.
"Sound Quality is the only drawback"
Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare's greatest and most performed plays. With this new guide, you will have an even better understanding of the story. Included in this guide: a biography of author William Shakespeare, a look at the play's context, its literary elements, detailed scene summaries, character analysis, and much more. This is the definitive guide to Julius Caesar, concise, easy to understand, and guaranteed to add to your enjoyment of this classic play.
Drawing on her knowledge as director, actor, and teacher, Packer traces the chronological evolution of Shakespeare's female characters and examines Shakespeare's own journey and growth as a writer from feckless misogynist in his youth to committed lover in his middle years to unrepentant feminist in his final years.
Few plays have had more impact than William Shakespeare's Hamlet. With this new guide, you will have an even greater understanding of the play. Included in this guide: a biography of author William Shakespeare, a look at the play's context and its literary elements, detailed scene summaries, character analysis, and much more. This is the definitive guide to Hamlet, concise, easy to understand, and guaranteed to add to your enjoyment of this classic play.
This drama is a retelling of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy, made accessible to younger listeners but still true to the Bard's original style and vocabulary. On a dark heath, Macbeth stumbles across three witches who can see into the future. What he hears will change everything. Encouraged by his wife, he decides to kill in order to gain the Scottish crown. How many people will die in his pursuit of power? With armies, ghosts and magic against him, will Macbeth survive in this tale of greed and betrayal?
The first volume of David Timson's series retelling of the stories from Shakespeare's plays was widely praised by newspaper and educators alike. Here is volume 2, with more key plays. Including Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, and Henry IV, all texts which regularly appear on the exam syllabus. As before, the stories are illustrated by numerous examples from the plays themselves. They are read by two leading Shakespearean actors, Juliet Stevenson and Alex Jennings.
This classic Shakespearean comedy is presented here in a colorful full-cast dramatization, drawn from the complete text and starring Warren Mitchell, Michael Maloney, and Sarah Woodward.
A violent storm shipwrecks the King of Naples and his noblemen on what appears to be an uninhabited island. They don't know that they have been brought here by powerful magic. Prospero, the mysterious ruler of the island, has a plan, but will he use his magic for revenge or for reconciliation? His daughter, Miranda, has never seen another man except her father. What will she think of the stranger who stumbles into her life? Will Propsero's monstrous servant, Caliban, succeed in overthrowing his master?
Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's greatest and darkest plays. With this new guide, you will have an even greater understanding of the play. Included in this guide: a biography of author William Shakespeare, a look at the play's context, its literary elements, detailed scene summaries, character analysis, and much more. This is the definitive guide to Macbeth, concise, easy to understand, and guaranteed to add to your enjoyment of this classic play.
Cuthbert and Richard Burbage inherited the theater from their father, James, who was its builder and manager. Upon jarred transactions with their landlord, they resolve both to raze and restore the theater, preparing for a shift across the Thames. The Siblings Burbage presents the dramatic troubles of this action. This historical drama maintains the classical form of tragedy in English, with seven scenes of dialogue and seven choral performances.
The singer-songwriter Shilpa Ray blends her Indian classical music training with her love of punk rock, with infectious results. Also, we hear from Jonathan Galassi, the long-time publisher, editor, translator, and poet, who now – at age 65 – has written his first novel. And have two psychology researchers really discovered a new play by William Shakespeare?