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Essential Shakespeare: Best Loved Scenes Soliloquies Sonnets That Everyone Should Know Explained Perfor [Abridged] [Audio CD]

William Shakespeare , More , Paul Rhys


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Audio, CD, Abridged, July 1996 --  
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Book Description

July 1996 1565111486 978-1565111486 Abridged
This edition of the works of Shakespeare includes extracts from his major plays.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HighBridge Audio; Abridged edition (July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565111486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565111486
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 11.2 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,117,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Ted Hughes was born in 1930 in West Yorkshire, England. He is the author of many collections of poetry, most recently, Wolfwatching. Mr. Hughes was appointed poet laureate of England in 1984. He lives in North Tawton, Devon.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From AudioFile

Essential Shakespeare highlights eleven plays and two sonnets: 29 and 147. Narrator Mary Denham begins with synopses of the plays before the chosen scenes are heard. This is an immense help to those not familiar with the works, helping to place the scenes in context. Simon Callow, best known for his roles in the films A Room With a View and Amadeus, is the most remarkable of the cast members, although all perform well. R.A.P. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Shakespeare May 11 2006
By theGsayeth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As a 3rd Year English Student, I highly recommend this collection. While I already own the Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, this book I find offers a unique way of reading Shakespeare. Ted Hughes offers a brilliant introduction in which he relates how Shakespeare can be read on two very unique levels. Plays in their entirety, and the way that this book offers selections, excerpted speeches and soliloquies. Taken out of context, the various collected tid-bits stand on their own and allow the reader to absorb the text and poetry without being constrained by characterization and plot development, a more abstract quality is given to the works and the texts stand by themselves in a distinct way. Worth picking up, cheers.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billiantly Well Done Feb. 11 2009
By J. Hansen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I bought this set of two audio CDs on a lark so I could qualify for free shipping on another item. It has turned out to be the most entertaining audio purchase I made last year. I have a 10-minute drive to work, and I listen to it every day while driving. The scenes are so well acted, the narration so illuminating, the music so appropriate, the audio so clear, and the drama so vivid -- it's no less than Shakespeare at his best -- that you simply cannot listen to it just once. I have easily listened to every scene more than 15 times, and I find something new and priceless every time I repeat the cycle. If you don't have access to live productions of Shakespeare's plays and you're like me and find his works somewhat daunting to read, this audio product is the perfect solution. The actors are consummate pros. My only complaint is that the CD insert gives credit to only four actors. I'm quite sure that I heard more than four, one of whom is surely the narrator, Mary Denham. Anyway, all of the performers shine, as does this product.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Anthology May 7 2009
By T. McLaughlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is arranged more or less chronologically with passages from the plays juxtaposed with sonnets until the time at which he. Shakespeare, stopped writing sonnets. There seem to be little currents of thematic connection running through the ordering of selections, which is sometimes intriguing. Hughes decided for no particularly good reason to identify the passages and numbers of the sonnets in an appendix at the end of the book instead of having the titles (and sonnet numbers) atop each passage. The idea was to remove the speeches from their context in the plays so they could sing alone, but this has an odd effect. The speeches in the plays aren't really poems that exist independently the way the sonnets do or the way any other poem, good or bad, does. They are magnificent and the context isn't the most important aspect but it's certainly relevant. They are all expressions by particular characters in "situations", so the nature of the distress and type of character are important. Out of context, they don't always have much validity, they're not universal, self-evident truths. Lady Macbeth's quotes are chilling and magnificent but relate to the experience of wanting to murder or having murdered an important person who's sleeping over, not life in general. So I wish he'd let us know what play and who the speaker was right there on the same page.

Having said that, this is an excellent selection and a useful thing to have. No one has expressed the real goings on of the psyche with so much clarity and affection as Shakespeare.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More fun than a standard audiobook Dec 17 2007
By Henrietta - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is great entertainment in the car. Shakespeare is a nice break from the standard audiobook. If it has been a while since you last saw some of these plays performed, these scenes will bring it all back to you. The introductions are very nice in setting up the scene.

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