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Essential Education - Shakespeare

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Essential Education - Shakespeare
The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare: 38 Dramatized Plays
By William Shakespeare
The Audio Partners Publishing Corp., (2003)
38 Unabridged Full Cast Dramatizations on 98 CDs
ISBN: 1-932219-00-5

By Rochelle Caviness - May 11, 2003

For students of English, whether as a first or second language, studying the plays of William Shakespeare is an essential component of their education. A study of the works of Shakespeare is also vital for students of English literature, History, and for theatrical students. Not only should students read his works, but they should also hear or see them preformed.

By reading Shakespeare, students are introduced to the eloquence of his word play, his plotting techniques, and his dramatic genius. However, it is only by seeing or hearing the plays performed that you will truly experience Shakespeare's 'voice' and the magnificence of his plays.

In all, Shakespeare (1564-1616) wrote 38 plays, in addition to a significant body of sonnets and poems. In an ideal world you should read every play that he wrote, and see a live performance of each. While anyone can read his plays, it is not always possible to attend live performances of them. A wonderful alternative to seeing the plays live has arisen in the form of the The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare. The Arkangel collection offers you the unique opportunity to hear full cast dramatizations of all 38 of Shakespeare's plays.

The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare collection is contained on 98 Compact Discs, and almost 400 actors took part in the production. All the actors who participated in these dramatizations are either past or present members of the Royal Shakespeare Company. This is the first complete collection of recordings of Shakespeare's plays that I've come across. It includes many plays that I've never found dramatized recordings of before, such as the romance The Two Noble Kinsmen and the tragedy Titus Andronicus. This unsurpassable collection is ideal for use in both the home and academic setting, and it will entertain and edify all who have the privilege to listening to these plays.

All the plays in this collection where directed by Clive Brill. In addition, each is enhanced by the addition of a musical scores and background sounds that are skillfully interwoven with the dialog, which helps to bring the plays to life. The sound quality of on these CDs is superb and it is hard not to imagine that you are in a theater witnessing the grandeur that is Shakespeare.

Three titles from this collection (Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, and A Midsummer Night's Dream) have been reviewed on Large Print Reviews. To access these reviews, click on the titles below: Back to top

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