Hamlet: Fully Dramatized Audio Edition

Narrated by: full cast
Length: 3 hrs and 32 mins
Categories: Classics, Shakespeare
4.5 out of 5 stars (732 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Folger Shakespeare Library, The World’s Leading Center for Shakespeare Studies

The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, brings Hamlet to life with this new full-length, full-cast dramatic recording of its definitive Folger Edition.

Hamlet, Shakespeare's most popular, and perhaps most puzzling play, follows the form of a "revenge tragedy", in which the hero, Hamlet, seeks vengeance against his father’s murderer, his uncle Claudius, now the king of Denmark. Much of its fascination, however, lies in its uncertainties.

This new full-cast recording - based on the most respected edition of Shakespeare's classic - expertly produced by the Folger Theatre, is perfect for students, teachers, and the everyday listener.

Public Domain (P)Simon & Schuster

10 Best Shakespeare Audiobooks


If there’s one writer whose works translates spectacularly to audio format, it’s the Bard. Plays are often more enjoyable when performed, but more importantly, hearing Shakespeare’s dialogue performed by professionals with the correct emphasis and tone can mean the difference in catching the jokes and innuendos, picking up on subtle foreshadowing, and even sometimes understanding the plot itself. Taking into account both the best of Shakespeare’s works and the most well-performed adaptations for audio, here are our choices for the top 10 best Shakespeare audiobooks in our catalog.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the voice actors

I liked the voice actors and that there was a woman for the woman speakers. Having background noises of their actions was also great! I think the voice actors did great, and I'd recommend this to anyone like me who struggles with understanding their tones while reading. (I read my book along while the audible played)

14 people found this helpful

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It's worth listening to.

I was reading Hamlet for a class and I didn't have the time to see a performance. This audio version is an excellent supplement to reading the play and experiencing a performance of it (without, obviously, the visual component). I recommend this audio book.

10 people found this helpful

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did they record this on mt everest?

The lines are all delivered like the actor is winded from recently running a mile uphill. I had to turn it off because it was giving me anxiety to listen to everything being breathlessly rushed through.

2 people found this helpful

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Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark 🎭

We loved this production; every performer is excellent, as are the audio quality, music, background sound effects, and production values generally. This is the next best thing to seeing a live performance. The only downside is that you can't always tell who's talking, and of course you can't see who might be listening in on any conversation between two characters, or see whatever other action might be happening silently onstage (e.g., my husband had to remind me that in the scene where Hamlet's uncle Claudius is on his knees trying but failing to pray earnestly for forgiveness for killing his brother the king, young Hamlet is standing behind him, sword raised, preparing to kill him).

Still, though, it's fantastic and we will definitely listen again. One thing that's fun to do is to listen specifically for famous quotations and phrases later used as titles for other plays (The Mousetrap; Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead), movies (The Undiscovered Country; What Dreams May Come; Murder Most Foul, North by Northwest), and books (Infinite Jest; This Above All; Time Out of Joint; The Glimpses of the Moon). There are so many! Every other line of this gorgeous poetry is a line we have absorbed into our collective consciousness and use/hear frequently, taking it almost for granted (e.g., To be or not to be). Keep an ear out also for advice it would behoove us to remember now in 2017, about how, when a leader of a nation appears crazy, he must be carefully watched!

Grade: A+

15 people found this helpful

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A great play

Of course Shakespeare would be awesome. Unfortunately, the actors were amateurish, and the music was synthesized. Yet still, it made for an excellent audio recording

9 people found this helpful

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Beautiful Play, Abysmal Rendition

Hamlet is my all-time favorite play in the Shakespeare collection. With varying performances throughout history, it is hard to say what is right and wrong about a performance. However, I can honestly say this was the worst rendition of Hamlet I have ever heard. The acting did not match the tones of the scenes. It felt like they were just reading from the script and trying to give random inflections throughout. I couldn't even make it through the first three scenes before I gave up on it. Want a good rendition of the play to follow? Follow along with the Kenneth Branagh or Mel Gibson versions (both movies). Haven't been able to find a great audio version of this play yet. If you just need something to follow along with for school, this follows unabridged and would be suitable for study.

2 people found this helpful

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Well done!

I really enjoyed the quick pacing of this recording. I've never been able to finish reading a Shakespeare play on my own, but after this experience I think audio books are the way to go.

3 people found this helpful

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Interesting

I have never read any of Shakespeare’s plays. I am in my 60’s! But I enjoyed it. I liked all the characters, music and how clear the actors spoke. I will read this (listen) again.

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After LISTENING to Hamlet, you will wish not to be

Let's face it. It's Shakespeare. It's amazing. It has high production values.
However, after listening to the character annoyingly playing Hamlet, seriously, you will prefer that he just off himself and no longer be. I did just that after 1/3 the book. The rest were great. I just couldn't take him anymore.

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Very good

I enjoyed hearing the story this way. My only problem was that sometimes you didn't know who was speaking to who, unless you were reading along.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Brenda
  • 04-03-19

Not recommended if you don’t know the story

I bought this because I had to analyse an article that references Hamlet. I’d never studied it in high school, so I thought I’d listen to this on the bus... needless to say it was confusing. Honestly, the first scene just seemed like a bunch of men yelling random things at each other. Plus the male voices are too similar to tell how many people there are... it might be good if you just want a fun refresher of the story though.