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A Midsummer Night S Dream (Arkangel Complete Shakespeare) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD

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William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire and was baptised on 26 April 1564. Thought to have been educated at the local grammar school, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he went on to have three children, at the age of eighteen, before moving to London to work in the theatre. Two erotic poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were published in 1593 and 1594 and records of his plays begin to appear in 1594 for Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI. Shakespeare's tragic period lasted from around 1600 to 1608, during which period he wrote plays including Hamlet and Othello. The first editions of the sonnets were published in 1609 but evidence suggests that Shakespeare had been writing them for years for a private readership.

Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life in Stratford, by now a wealthy man. He died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623.

(The portrait details: The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. NPG1, © National Portrait Gallery, London)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A "pretty good" audio recording 5 April 2007
By C. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I bought this audio recording of MSND to use as I taught the play to my 10th graders. The actors do well, and this is the complete version of the play. However, some of the character sound effects can get annoying, as well as some of the music.

For whatever reason, the faeries' voices have a slight echo effect, which isn't too annoying, but when a faery--such as Puck or Oberon--is placing a spell on someone, there is an extreme echo placed on the voice. The echo was so extreme for the end of Act III, when Puck is confusing Lysander and Demetrius, that it gave me a slight headache. Also, while the use of a little music can be nice, many of my students didn't like it and I found that the music was on a little too long in some places and it stalls the progression of the play. The "braying" of Bottom sounds more like a pig grunt, which gets really old after awhile.

Overall, I would recommend this version to those who don't mind slight annoyances like these--and maybe I'm being nitpicky--but if you think that those will wear on you, try to find another version.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not necessarily to my taste... 20 Feb 2009
By C. McCloskey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I like 'Dream' and have seen numerous productions, all film, so I didn't have any problems following the story. I didn't particularly like what was done with Oberon and Titania, giving them African/West Indian accents. Certainly Clive Brill, the director, needs to choose actors with distinctive voices so we can identify characters without any visual cues, but I found that these accents gave the text a start-and-stop cadence that I wasn't expecting and found a bit jarring to listen to.
On the other hand, I loved what he did with the Pyramus-and-Thisbe play at the end. Usually this feels like an afterthought, even though the actions in that play mimic that could have happened in the forest to the lovers. Here, I saw the point - the comments of the audience felt like we were right at home, making comments about our favorite TV show as we watch it. A kind of MSTK3000 Theatre - Shakespeare style. I know that is how it is written, but it is seldom performed that way, or at least not well. So, kudos to Brill for that.
If I were introducing someone to Dream I'd probably start with the film with Michelle Pfeiffer, largely because kids today would be amused to see that Batman was playing Lysander. Hey, you do what you have to.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Audiobook Rating 19 Nov 2010
By A. M. Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is a very helpful tool in getting children to hear how the language is read and Egeus is well read by the characters. There is an instance where the fairies read where the audio fades in and out. I assume that is for soundeffects purposes, but I believe it could have been better done. It is a great help-along in class, esp when you want to push ahead the play. I would recommend this and any other audiobook for a Literature class
Wonderful performance 13 Aug 2013
By Judith-Ann White Watts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The performers really brought the text alive in this version! I used it with my high school class, and they really enjoyed it.
Pretty good recording 3 July 2013
By T. Challenger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I use this in the classes I teach when we read the play. It's a good recording with lively voices and some magical sound effects that add to the comedic tone of the play.
My students seem to enjoy it!
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