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The Sonnets (Classic poetry)

By William Shakespeare, Warren Mitchell (Narrator), Michael Maloney (Narrator) & Sarah Woodward (Narrator)
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Item description for The Sonnets (Classic poetry) by William Shakespeare, Warren Mitchell, Michael Maloney & Sarah Woodward...

"I feel that I have spent half my career with one or another Pelican Shakespeare in my back pocket. Convenience, however, is the least important aspect of the new Pelican Shakespeare series. Here is an elegant and clear text for either the study or the rehearsal room, notes where you need them and the distinguished scholarship of the general editors, Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller who understand that these are plays for performance as well as great texts for contemplation." (Patrick Stewart)

The distinguished Pelican Shakespeare series, which has sold more than four million copies, is now completely revised and repackaged.

Each volume features:

* Authoritative, reliable texts

* High quality introductions and notes

* New, more readable trade trim size

* An essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare and essays on Shakespeare's life and the selection of texts

Book Description
John Dover Wilson's New Shakespeare, published between 1921 and 1966, became the classic Cambridge edition of Shakespeare's plays and poems until the 1980s. The series, long since out-of-print, is now reissued. Each work contains a lengthy and lively introduction, main text, and substantial notes and glossary.

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Item Specifications...

Format: Audiobook,   Unabridged
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 5.75"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  CD
Publisher   Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN  9626341459  
ISBN13  9789626341452  

Availability  0 units.

More About William Shakespeare, Warren Mitchell, Michael Maloney & Sarah Woodward

William Shakespeare William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon." His extant works include some collaboration, consisting of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

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...
  1. Ignatius Critical Editions

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Product Categories

1Books > Audio CDs > Authors, A-Z > ( S ) > Shakespeare, William
2Books > Audio CDs > Literature & Fiction > Drama
3Books > Audio CDs > Literature & Fiction > Poetry
4Books > Audio CDs > Poetry & Drama
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( S ) > Shakespeare, William > Shakespeare, William
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Drama > Playwrights, A-Z > ( S ) > Shakespeare, William
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
8Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Poets, A-Z > ( S ) > Shakespeare, William
9Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > British & Irish
10Music > Styles > Miscellaneous > Poetry, Spoken Word & Interviews > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Sonnets (Classic poetry)?

Excellent edition of one of the best books ever  Sep 17, 2007
Shakespeare's collection of sonnets is so much a part of the western cultural heritage that reviewing it is kind of like taking coals to Newcastle, but it is worth a few words. First, however, a note about this edition: it is exactly what I wanted, with a few unobstructive footnotes at the bottom of each page, an index of first lines, and two critical introductions, one offering up historical context, the other more interpretative. They enhance your reading, they do not do it for you.

Now, why you want to read this collection. Most of us come to the sonnets singly: random reading assignments, in mixed anthologies, or one is quoted provocatively some place. With few exceptions, each is a perfect example of what the sonnet form does and how form itself shapes meaning. But read straight through consecutively, they offer a close-to-the-bone narrative of Shakespeare's preoccupations. This is the source of all that speculation about his sexual preferences. We've all heard lots of opinions on the bard's relationship with the "Young Man" and the "Dark Lady" but there is nothing like getting it first hand, and I must say that my ideas changed after sorting through for myself. For one thing, love--platonic or carnal--is not the only thing on his mind. Immortality, beauty, truth and a few other problems get a work out. The most pleasant surprise is how truly readable and accessible it all is.
The finest sonnets ever written in English  Feb 23, 2007
Shakespeare was, in my opinion, a far better poet than a playwrite. Not to say that his plays aren't good; he wrote many that are among the best I've read. But some of his others are terribly boring. Not so with his sonnets. This collection is my constant companion, I read a sonnet whenever I feel down. They catalogue the experience of a truly remarkable man in a style both rich and clear. A great collection of great poetry.
Premium edition of the Sonnets  Jan 9, 2007
This is a nice edition, worthy of gift-giving. There is only one Sonnet per page, so you can choose one and bookmark it for a friend. The paper is quality and the binding and overall look is very good.
Beautiful   Oct 21, 2006
This is in reference to the CD (audiobook) Sonnets read by John Gielgud. Just received my copy and was pleasently surprised that the remastered 60's recording is remarkably clear. Gielgud was one of the greatest actor/directors of Shakespeare, and to listen to him read the sonnets "...trippingly on the tongue...", (Hamlet,act 3, sc. 2.) is nothing short of historical.
Listen to them at night or on a rainy day, or just follow along with a hardcopy of the Sonnets in your hand. You'll be reciting them in short order.

Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage  Oct 6, 2006
Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit,
To thee I send this written embassage,
To witness duty, not to show my wit.
(Sonnet 26.)

How to do justice to the legacy of literary history's greatest mind -- moreover in such a limited review? Forget Goethe's "universal genius" and his rebel contemporary Schiller; forget the 19th century masters; forget contemporary literature: with the possible (!) exception of three Greek gentlemen named Aischylos, Sophocles and Euripides, a certain Frenchman called Poquelin (a/k/a Moliere), and that infamous Irishman Oscar Wilde, there's more wit in a single line of Shakespeare's than in an entire page of most other, even great, authors' works. And I'm not saying this in ignorance of, or in order to slight any other writer: it's precisely my admiration of the world's literary giants, past and present, that makes me appreciate Shakespeare even more -- and that although I'm aware that he repeatedly borrowed from pre-existing material and that even the (sole) authorship of the works published under his name isn't established beyond doubt. For ultimately, the only thing that matters to me is the brilliance of those works themselves; and quite honestly, the mysteries continuing to enshroud his person, to me, only enhance his larger-than-life stature.

The precise dating of Shakespeare's sonnets -- like other poets', a response to the 1591 publication of Sir Philip Sidney's "Astrophil and Stella" -- is an even greater guessing game than that of his plays: although #138 and #144 (slightly modified) appeared in 1599's "Passionate Pilgrim," most were probably circulated privately, and written years before their first -- unauthorized, though still authoritative -- 1609 publication; possibly beginning in 1592-1593.

Format-wise, they adopt the Elizabethan fourteen-line-structure of three quatrains of iambic pentameters expressing a series of increasingly intense ideas, resolved in a closing couplet; with an abab-cdcd-efef-gg rhyme form. (Sole exceptions: #99 -- first quatrain amplified by one line -- #126 -- six couplets & only twelve lines total -- #145 -- written in tetrameter -- and #146 -- omission of the second line's beginning; the subject of a lasting debate.) Their order is thematic rather than chronological, although beyond the fact that the first 126 are addressed to a young man -- maybe the Earl of Pembroke or Southampton, maybe Sir Robert Dudley, the natural son of Queen Elizabeth's "Sweet Robin," the Earl of Leicester -- (the first seventeen, possibly commissioned by the addressee's family, pressing his marriage and production of an heir), and ##127-152 (or 127-133 and 147-152) to an exotic woman of questionable virtues only known as "The Dark Lady," even in that respect much remains unclear; including the nature of Shakespeare's relationship with the two main addressees, regarding which the sonnets' often ambiguous metaphors invoke much speculation. #145 is probably addressed to Shakespeare's wife; the closing couplet plays on her maiden name ("['I hate' from] hate away she threw And saved my life, [saying 'not you']:" "Hathaway -- Anne saved my life"), several others contain puns on the name Will and its double meaning(s) (exactly fourteen in the naughty #135: "Whoever hath her wish, thou hast thy Will;" and seven in the similarly mischievous #136), and the last two draw on the then-popular Cupid theme. Sometimes, placement seems linked to contents, e.g., in #8 (music: an octave has eight notes), #12 and #60 (time: twelve hours to both day and night; sixty minutes to an hour); and in the famous #55, which praises poetry's everlasting power and as whose never-expressly-named subject Shakespeare himself emerges in a comparison with Horace's Ode 3.30 -- in turn written in first person singular and thus, denoting its own author as the builder of its "monument more lasting than bronze" ("Exegi monumentum aere perennius") -- as well as through the number "5"'s optical similarity to the letter "S," making the sonnet's number a shorthand reference for "5hake5peare" or "5hakespeare's 5onnets," echoed by numerous words containing an "S" in the text.

Of indescribable linguistic beauty, elegance and complexity, Shakespeare's sonnets owe their timeless appeal to their supreme compositional values, the universality of their themes, and their keen insights into the human heart and soul; as much as their transcendence of the era's poetic conventions which, following Petrarch, heavily idealized the addressee's qualities: a form new and exciting twohundred years earlier, but encrusted in cliche in the late 1500s. Indeed, Shakespeare's "Dark Lady" Sonnet #130 owes its particular fame to its clever puns on that very style, which went overboard with references to its golden-haired, starry- (beamy-, sparkling, sunny-) eyed, cherry- (strawberry-, vermilion-, coral-) lipped, rosy- (crimson-, purple-, dawn-) cheeked, ivory- (lily-, carnation-, crystal-, silver-, snowy-, swan-white) skinned, pearl-teethed, honey- (nectar-, music-) tongued, goddess-like objects. "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;" the Bard countered, proceeded to describe her breasts as "dun," her hair as "black wires," and her breath as "reek[ing]," and denied her any divine or angelic attributes. "And yet," he concluded: "by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare."

Arguably, Shakespeare's very choice of addressees (a young man -- also the subject of the famously romantic #18: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day;" the first of several sonnets promising his immortalization in poetry -- as well as the "Dark Lady," in turn introduced under the notion "black is beautiful" in #127) itself suggests a break with tradition; and compared to his contemporaries' poetry, even the equally-famous #116's on its face rather conventional praise of love's constancy ("Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments"), echoed in the poet's vow to vanquish time in #123, sounds fairly restrained. But ultimately, Shakespeare's sonnets -- like his entire work -- simply defy categorization. They are, as rival Ben Jonson acknowledged, written "for all time," just as the Bard himself immodestly claimed:

'Gainst death and all oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
(Sonnet 55.)

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