Item description for Romeo and Juliet (Arkangel Complete Shakespeare) by William Shakespeare...
Romeo and Juliet are desperately in love, but their families are locked in a bitter feud. Their secret meetings propel them inexorably to a tragic fate. A true masterpiece, this unforgettable work contains some of the Bard's most beautiful poetry.
Outline Review Because this production of Romeo and Juliet features a full-cast performance, original music, and sound effects, it could accurately be described as an audio play. This tragic tale of the world's most famous star-crossed couple was originally written to be seen, but the genius of Shakespeare's language is stunningly beautiful to the naked ear as well. When Romeo spies Juliet across a crowded dance floor, he speaks aloud what may be the perfect description of love at first sight: "If my heart e'r loved till now, forswear it sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night." Although you can't see who has so smitten the dear boy, the Juliet you visualize in your mind's eye is far more sublime than any mere mortal could ever hope to be. If there is a disappointment to this production, it is, ironically, the sound itself. At times the actors' overlapping voices are difficult to distinguish, especially for those unfamiliar with Elizabethan vernacular. The music is generally quite good and adds a beneficial element that too few audiocassettes bother to include, but is at times perfunctory and a little too loud. The excellent cast is made up of established members of England's professional theater community, and their performances meet the expectations one would have for such a well-trained and respected group. (Running time: three hours, two cassettes) --George Laney
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William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King s New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers. Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain s Men (later under James I, called the King s Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain s Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare s plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio."
William Shakespeare lived in Stratford-Upon-The Avon. William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died in 1616.
William Shakespeare has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Romeo and Juliet (Arkangel Complete Shakespeare)?
Excellent Audio Play Jul 9, 2008
This is a performed audio play, not just read by one voice. It is very easy to follow along, and distinguish the different characters.
Joseph Fiennes and Maria Miles are superb in their roles. Apr 3, 2008
The quality of this recording is excellent and the performers give very skillful interpretations. Fiennes and Miles are particularly effective as the "star crossed lovers".
Shakespeare is Great! Apr 10, 2007
This is a terrific recording. My son's teacher recommended he buy this to listen while he read the written words. It made Shakespeare so much more accessible.
For the most part well done Aug 3, 2006
Before I listened to this play, I had read the Folgers Shakespeare Library version. I believe that helped me enjoy the play much more. I am not going to review the play, only this audio version. The music set the mood of the scenes, and the sound effects brought the landscape to life in my imagination. The cast acted out the parts superbly! The only complaint I have is, When Romeo says, "He jest at scares that never felt a wound," I didn't feel he conveyed enough emotion on that part. After all, in the previous scene, or the same scene depending on how you interpret the scenes, MERCUTIO was mocking his love for Rosaline harshly. If you are not familiar with the play I highly recommend reading it first, that will make it easier to follow.
I Beg to Disagree Nov 30, 2005
It's worth the price just to hear an unabridged version. Capulet is wonderful. The friar is the best ever. Juliet is understandable but has the passion in her voice of a person who's been there a few times too many. But Romeo...a one-emotion three-hour agony to listen to. I've taught teens for thirty years; they don't languish in one emotion. If wallowing were an art form, Fiennes would be the grand master. He obviously doesn't remember how it was long ago when he was a teen.