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Shakespeare's Original Pronunciation (audio CD)

Published Date:
March 2012
British Library
Bibliographic Details:
1 CD, running time: 75 minutes
William Shakespeare
Free UK P&P for orders over £15

Speeches and scenes performed as Shakespeare would have heard them

As recommended by the Guardian - Christmas Gifts 2012: the best of audiobooks
How did Shakespeare sound to the audiences of his day? For the first time, under the guidance of Ben Crystal, this disc offers listeners the chance to hear England's greatest playwright performed by a company of actors using the pronunciation of his time. The company performs some of Shakespeare's best-known poems, solo speeches and scenes from the plays. Hear new meanings uncovered, new jokes revealed, poetic effects enhanced. The CD is accompanied by an introductory essay by Professor David Crystal and is an essential purchase for every student and lover of Shakespearean language.

Ben Crystal is an actor and the author of Shakespeare on Toast.

Listen to extracts from tracks using Windows Media Player
As You Like It, From Act 2, Jaques: spoken by Colin Hurley

Othello: From Act 4 Desdemona (Natalie Thomas) and Emilia (Joan Walker)

Macbeth: From Act 2, Macbeth: spoken by Colin Hurley

Track listing
1. Sonnet 116 (in modern English)
2. Sonnet 116 (in original pronunciation)
3. Sonnet 18
4. Sonnet 71
5. Sonnet 154
6. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (from Act 3)
7. As You Like It (from Act 2)
8. Hamlet (from Act 3)
9. Henry V (from Act 3)
10. Macbeth (from Act 2)
11. Richard II (from Act 5)
12. The Winter’s Tale (from Act 3)
13. As You Like It (from Act 2)
14. The Merchant of Venice (from Act 4)
15. The Two Gentlemen of Verona (from Act 4)
16. Richard III (from Act 4)
17. Richard III (from Act 1)
18. The Tempest (from Act 5)
19. Twelfth Night (from Act 2)
20. The Comedy of Errors (from Act 3)
21. Romeo and Juliet (from Act 2)
22. Much Ado about Nothing (from Act 4)
23. Julius Caesar (from Act 3)
24. Twelfth Night (from Act 3)
25. Hamlet (from Act 2)
26. Othello (from Act 4)
27. King Lear (from Act 1)
28. Macbeth (from Act 2)

'The a remarkable achievement, which is the first of its kind. If you are a student new to Shakespeare, or an accomplished scholar, this CD gives a fresh perspective on the Bard's words. It is so fun to listen to, you will be walking around the rest of the day imitating the sounds and "speaking the speech."'
`Quirkiest audio... in which an enthusiastic bunch of actors demonstrate how the Bard's sonnets, songs and various famous scenes from his plays would have sounded to Elizabethan audiences... Eng lit aficionados will love it.` Sue Arnold, The Guardian

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