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The Head That Wears a Crown

Speeches For Royal Men by William Shakespeare
Narrated by: Alan Cumming
Length: 45 mins
Categories: Classics, Shakespeare
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Internationally acclaimed actor and Tony Award winner, Alan Cumming performs Shakespeare’s most important and beloved royal speeches, including "To be or not to be", "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow", "Now is the winter of our discontent", "O that this too sullied flesh would melt" and more. All the speeches were personally chosen by Cumming. Michael Boyd adds, "Cumming brings to Shakespeare the lyricism of a genuine singer, the sharp edge of a wicked comic, and the embodied intelligence of a major actor."

Public Domain (P)2013 GPR Records

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • EmilyK
  • Portland, OR, United States
  • 03-11-18

out of context speeches

Really enjoyed Cumming's rendition of major Shakespeare speeches. That said, the speeches were presented entirely out of context, without even a title, let alone an explanation of the context. I have enough background that I could recognize most/all but wouldn't be at all helpful for someone just getting to know Shakespeare. This is unfortunate, since it would be much more inspiring in context.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lizatish
  • Granite Bay, ca United States
  • 08-12-14

Can't recommend this one

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The speeches need to have the name of the play and scene listed before each track. The listener isn't given any kind of information that would provide a context for what they are listening to.

Would you be willing to try another one of Alan Cumming’s performances?

Not likely. I thought he drifted into overacting on nearly every speech.

Could you see The Head That Wears a Crown being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No. It is a collection of speeches.

Any additional comments?

I would recommend Shakespeare's Original Pronunciation instead.