The Complete Sonnets of William Shakespeare

Length: 3 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For sustained dramatic intrigue and sophistication of plot, William Shakespeare's sonnets are at least the equal of his greatest plays. Throughout the centuries since their first publication in 1609, critics, psychologists and curiosity-seekers alike have pondered the nature of the poet's relationships with the mysterious young man, "Mr. W.H.", and the "ill-coloured" Dark lady. With or without the mystery, with or without the epic greatness of their author's other works, the sonnets would still have their place among the greatest poems ever written. Compelling, subtle, intellectually rigorous yet taut with intense emotion, each poem survives reading, study and vibrant interpretation from one generation to the next. On this recording, great contemporary actors present the entire sequence, delivering the full range and power of virtuosity, emotional power and bristling intelligence that made Shakespeare great.
Public Domain (P)2009 Phoenix

Featured Article: 10 Best Poetry Audiobooks for the Ultimate Lyrical Experience


It’s a common turn of phrase that poetry is meant to be heard. Tone, pauses, cadence, and inflections in the voice all serve to further the emotional pull of modern and historical poetic masterpieces. And now, with the rise of the audiobook format, poetry can be heard and enjoyed in the way they were meant to be. Taking into account not only the words themselves but the way they are spoken, our list provides a look at the power behind a poem.

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Fits infinity in a couplet

I really haven't read Shakespeare's sonnets in any consistent way since high school (where I read less than twenty and memorized two). It was fascinating to read all 154 from first to last as a whole connected work. One really gets a sense that English is a tool which almost all of us use, many often play with, but only Shakespeare owned. The Bard could bend a word, fit infinity in a couplet and drop the whole universe on a period.

16 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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excellent cast

Shakespeare is to be heard rather than read.. Very enjoyable. Now back to Proust...

8 people found this helpful

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Good but not great

An acceptable hodgepodge, uneven audio, some shockingly dull American accents amid fine British ones. The best is saved for the last, with several well-known sonnets after many less impressive choices.

6 people found this helpful

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Nice cast and read with respect.

Shakespeare is meant to be heard not read if you truly want to learn how he thought.

1 person found this helpful

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It is nice

It is nice. The multiple readers give it variety. I liked it a lot more than the John Gielgud reading. A downside to this collection is that the volume is all over the place from reader to reader.

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This is Wonderful!

Where does The Complete Sonnets of William Shakespeare rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I really like it and it's very different from our normal English so I would rated very high as above.

Who was your favorite character and why?

None!

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

"Full collection of The Shakespeare's Sonnets."

Any additional comments?

Maybe a little bit of background music inside because only talking and talking for hours isn't very interesting.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ian
  • 03-27-19

Simply delightful

Every sonet is read clearly and with feeling. All the readers are perfect. A lovely book to listen too. To relax too. To appreciate.

1 person found this helpful