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Midsummer Night's Dream
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Midsummer Night's Dream

Author : William Shakespeare
Performed By : Full Cast Production
NAXOS
Duration : 2 hours 20 minutes
Type : Shakespeare
Download Price : $14.99
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A Midsummer Night's Dream must be one of the most enduringly popular of Shakespeare's plays, and it is not difficult to see why: the work blends several kinds of comedy with a powerful atmosphere of magic and mystery and a satisfying set of contrasts - between city and country, reason and imagination, love and infatuation.

The play dates from 1595-6, and therefore belongs to Shakespeare's early maturity as a dramatist. There is some disagreement about whether A Midsummer Night's Dream was specially written for an aristocratic wedding. No direct evidence for this speculation exists, although the festive and optimistic emphasis at the end - the fairies blessing the 'bride-bed' - would certainly be appropriate. One senses, too, a celebratory delight in the young writer's new-found richness of ideas and mastery of form, and it is interesting to see from what a wide range of sources Shakespeare drew in order to create what is nevertheless a highly original work.

The Sources
The anticipation and completion of Theseus' and Hippolyta's wedding, which frames the action, is taken from Chaucer's The Knight's Tale. Puck's origin, on the other hand, owes more to folklore than literature; the mechanicals' or 'clowns' (Bottom, Quince et al) are clearly caricatured Elizabethan working men, while the story of Pyramus and Thisbe came to Shakespeare through Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses. No single source, however, can account for the miraculous transformation Shakespeare works upon these diverse materials.

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Hamlet

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Author : William Shakespeare
Performed By : David Ian Davies
One Voice Recordings
Duration : 38 minutes
Type : Shakespeare
Download Price : $5.00
Shakespeare's classic as dramatized by renowned vocal actor David I. Davies View...
Sonnets, The

Sonnets, The

Author : William Shakespeare
Performed By : Sir John Gielgud
Harper Collins US
Duration : 2 hours
Type : Shakespeare
Poetry
Download Price : $25.00 $10.95
As read by the legendary Sir John Gielgud-- perhaps the greatest interpreter of the Bard we shall ever know-- the sonnets in this selection come alive... View...
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Macbeth

Author : William Shakespeare
Performed By : Full Cast Production
NAXOS
Duration : 2 hours 20 minutes
Type : Shakespeare
Download Price : $14.99
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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

Author : William Shakespeare
Performed By : Full Cast Production
BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Duration : 2 hours 15 minutes
Type : Dramatizations
Classic Literature
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Great Moments in History:

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Author : Jim Cort
Performed By : Full Cast Production
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Duration : 5 minutes
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The Bard gets a jolly lesson in ye olde show biz. View...
Have you always loved reading but sometimes find it hard to find the time? Thereís nothing quite like curling up with a good book but many of us canít do that as much as weíd like. We sacrifice this special time because we have so many other things to do each day. Itís a common problem and itís the reason why people on average are not reading as much as they once did. Audio books bring the story to life just as the storytellers of the past did. They allow you to experience the book in a whole new way; in the way the writer felt and heard it in their head. You can feel the emotion when you allow audio books to let the story come to life.