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Romeo and Juliet (Arkangel Shakespeare - Fully Dramatized) Audio CD – Audiobook, April 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1932219302 ISBN-10: 1932219307 Edition: Unabridged

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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: AudioGO; Unabridged edition (April 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932219307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932219302
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From AudioFile

The two leads excel in this new recording of Shakespeare's early play. Joseph Fiennes captures Romeo's tenderness, immaturity, and idealism, and he maintains his energy throughout. Maria Miles, as Juliet, makes a memorable and intelligent impression in virtually every scene she has. Her desperate soliloquy in Act Four, considering the possible consequences of taking the deathlike sleeping potion given to her by the Friar, is a gem: She is fearful and determined, independent and frail. Clive Brill's direction sometimes calls for overlapping dialogue, which makes for an effective brisk pace. The close microphone on Juliet for her lines about Romeo's death ("Take him and cut him out in little stars . . .") gives the poetry a powerful intimacy. A superior production. G.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

More About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Kudos, Arkangel Productions!
Stan Blackburn
I am a ninth grade English teacher and all of my classes listened to this while we read along with Romeo and Juliet.
Mason's Mom
It helps with understanding the text.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
I love the Arkangel series of Shakespeare on tape. As to this one, I may not be the best judge of sound but this production on tape never made me pull my earphones away and wince in pain as an over loud music interlude started. That is the primary reason I would like to collect all of the Arkangel productions. Romeo is well chosen for his voice, he sounds rash and young. I can well believe that he would kill himself. The Friar is the best vocal choice; he's exactly how I thought he should sound. Juliet sounds beautiful and the nurse is truly wonderful.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 1998
Format: Audio Cassette
I just purchaced the tape and I think it to be one of the best productions of Shakespeare I have ever heard. Joseph Fiennes is a simply delightful Romeo, remenicent of his older brother Ralph Fiennes yet much gentler and heartbreaking. I strongly recomend this to all lovers of the play and Shakespeare in general. It lifts the soul and breaks the heart, a feast for the mind and spirit!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ReaderRoz on April 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mason's Mom on May 20, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am a ninth grade English teacher and all of my classes listened to this while we read along with Romeo and Juliet. It was very accurate and entertaining. It was definitely better than listening to ninth graders struggle through reading it aloud. The voices and sound effects are great and my students have really enjoyed it. It was definitely worth the money and I will be using this every time I teach R&J!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Sparkman on May 4, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I received this after my freshman classes had already started reading "Romeo and Juliet". Once I popped the CD in and pressed play, my kids were sold on it. Many of them said that this version made it much easier to understand and the emotional display is absolutely wonderful--I got goosebumps! The clarity is great and the sound effects help students (especailly those who can't seem to read the stage directions) to know what's taking place.
All around . . .it's wonderful!

May 13, 2009
We recently finished "R & J" and I have to say that this production really was a huge aid. Students who missed a day would just have to listen to the CD and they would be caught up--no problem. While sitting in on one of our classes another freshman teacher (who has been teaching for 15+ years) said this was the best production he has ever heard and is getting his own set for next year.
Again, it's wonderful, and I love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sevenn99 on July 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased the Arkangel recording of Romeo and Juliet to use in my ninth grade English classroom. My students enjoyed reading the text while listening to the production's talented actors, and they were able to pick up and comprehend some of the more subtle details of the plot. I would definitely recommend purchasing this CD set if you wish to read and enjoy Shakespeare's play or if you are a teacher considering its use in your classroom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roanld Tieder on August 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Whatever else you say about it, 'Romeo and Juliet' is certainly one of Shakespeare's most vivid plays, and here it is movingly brought to life. Romeo (Joseph Fiennes) is sensitive and poetic, without being effeminate, and Juliet (Maria Miles, in a beautiful performance) is shy and modest, yet full of strong emotion. Clive Swift, better known as Hyacinth Bucket's henpecked husband, does a good job as Friar Laurance. Words are enunciated clearly, bringing Shakespeare's meanings out to the fullest, in a performance outstanding even for Arkangel.
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