Twelfth Night

Arkangel Shakespeare
Length: 2 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (134 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Shakespeare's most sophisticated comedy is a riotous tale of hopelessly unrequited passions and mistaken identity. Duke Orsino is in love with the noblewoman Olivia. She, however, has fallen for his servant Cesario, who is actually Viola, a woman disguised as a man, who loves Orsino: Confusion is rife. Meanwhile, Olivia's arrogant steward Malvolio is cruelly tricked by her uncle Sir Toby Belch, his friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and the maidservant Maria into believing his mistress loves him.

Niamh Cusack is Viola, Jonathan Firth is Orsino, Amanda Root plays Olivia, Dinsdale Landen plays Sir Toby Belch, and Julian Glover is Malvolio.

Public Domain (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

Featured Article: 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

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Absolutely loved

I thought Hamlet was my favorite...nay! It is now Twelfth Night. Shakespeare was a genius.

7 people found this helpful

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If you be not mad, be gone

"If you be not mad, be gone; if you have reason, be brief."
- William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

I liked it, but didn't love it.

Positives: I always like Shakespeare's gender benders. The Bard enjoys not playing characters straight. He doesn't want a love story or even a love triangle, Shakespeare wants to explore all the tangents, the lines, and the angles of love's many geometries. He is a great experimenter of the human soul. He is the Faraday of romance, unsatisfied until he has teased out all the attractions and repulsions possible.

Negatives: I'm not a fan of Shakespeare's musical comedies. I don't include A Midsummer Night's Dream on this list, because I consider that play to be one of Shakespeare's great LYRICAL plays (along with Richard II and Romeo and Juliet). Anyway, anytime Shakespeare's actors start singing and dancing, I want to use that time/space to grab a popcorn or pee. Just not my jam.

Favorite Lines:

"If music be the food of love, play on." (Act 1, Scene 1)

“Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.” (Act 1, Scene 5)

“Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.” (Act 1, Scene 5)

“Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.” (Act 1, Scene 5)

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” (Act 2, Scene 5)

“I say there is no darkness but ignorance.” (Act 4, Scene 2)

12 people found this helpful

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bravo!

the lovely, witty ladies are at their best in bard's comedy.
kudos to the actors!

1 person found this helpful

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Not divided by Act and Scene

This dramatized version is excellent and well worth listening to. However, I gave this 2 stars because the recording is not divided by act and scene; this makes it very difficult to choose sections to play to a class. When I’ve checked the CDs out from the library, they have all been divided by Act and Scene, so I expected the same from Audible.

1 person found this helpful

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Classic

Shakespeare is a classic. I absolutely enjoyed this take on it. The full cast was amazing and they each did a great job. I felt like I was there.

1 person found this helpful

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Only Shakespeare necessary

This is the only title one need read to understand the bulk of the work

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Ahhh quality

I have loved this version of twelfth night since I was a little one. I will explore other works by this group!

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Twelfth Night

The performance was EXCELLENT. One of the best Shakespeare ensembles I've heard to date. The Fool, Olivia, Andrew Aguecheek were all brilliant.

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  • Alexi Sofocleous
  • 02-13-19

So good!

Loved loved loved these audiobooks by 'Arkangel' - totally recommend them!! I can picture the scene so perfectly! It is so worth it

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  • Mathew
  • 03-08-18

The Bard

It's Shakespeare, of course it gets five stars! An excellent performance - not too slapstick, but in no way 'autumnal' like the Nunn film.