Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are unquestionably two of the greatest epic masterpieces in Western literature. Though more than 2,700 years old, their stories of brave heroics, capricious gods, and towering human emotions are vividly timeless. The Iliad can justly be called the world's greatest war epic. The terrible and long-drawn-out siege of Troy remains one of the classic campaigns. The Odyssey chronicles the many trials and adventures Odysseus must pass through on his long journey home from the Trojan wars to his beloved wife.
The major texts of Western culture are a gateway to wisdom that can widen your views on self and society in enduring ways. And now you can examine its most important works - whether drama, poetry, or narrative - in this series of 64 penetrating lectures that reveal astonishing common ground.
"Interesting, Informative English Literature course"
In words remarkable for their richness of rhythm and imagery, Milton tells the story of man's creation, fall, and redemption, "to justify the ways of God to men". Here, unabridged, and told with exceptional sensitivity and power by Anton Lesser, is the plight of Adam and Eve, the ambition and vengefulness of Satan and his cohorts.
The Trojan War is over, and Odysseus, the cunning King of Ithaca, sets out for home, his wife Penelope, and his son, Telemachus. It proves a long, 10-year journey, fraught with dangers.
One of the greatest works in literature, Dante's story-poem is an allegory that represents mankind as it exposes itself, by its merits or demerits, to the rewards or the punishments of justice. A single listen will reveal Dante's visual imagination and uncanny power to make the spiritual visible.
"A roller coaster of scenes and language"
For anyone who's in love - or hopes to be - what greater celebration could there be than to hear the world's greatest love poetry read lovingly by Richard Armitage? With 15 poems by William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and more, Classic Love Poems is a listening treat for Valentine's Day - or any day.
Dante's Divine Comedy is considered to be not only the most important epic poem in Italian literature, but also one of the greatest poems ever written. It consists of 100 cantos, and (after an introductory canto) they are divided into three sections. Each section is 33 cantos in length, and they describe how Dante and a guide travel through Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
"Abandon all hope you who enter here." ("Lasciate ogne speranza voi ch'intrate.") Dante's Hell is one of the most remarkable visions in Western literature. An allegory for his and future ages, it is, at the same time, an account of terrifying realism. Passing under a lintel emblazoned with these frightening words, the poet is led down into the depths by Virgil and shown those doomed to suffer eternal torment for vices exhibited and sins committed on earth.
The Aeneid represents one of the greatest cultural and artistic achievements of Western Civilization. Within the brooding and melancholy atmosphere of Virgil's pious masterpiece lies the mythic story of Aeneas and his flight from burning Troy, taking with him across the Mediterranean the survivors of the Greek onslaught. Aeneas, after many travails and adventures, including a love affair with Dido Queen of Carthage and a visit to the underworld to see his father, ends up in Italy.
Shakespeare's Sonnets, one of the most remarkable collections of poetry, was first published in 1609, 400 years ago by Mr Thomas Thorpe. Naxos AudioBooks marks the occasion with a selection of 80 of the finest, read by leading actors. The selection includes famous ones such as 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day' as well as lesser well-known sonnets though of equally fine stature.
"Wonderful - but Audible spoiled it"
Any lover of Shakespeare or the Romantic poets can concede that poetry is pleasurable. But is it good for you? Can it teach you anything? These are questions that have beguiled and engaged eminent critics for millennia, and now you can develop your own answers and options with these 24 lectures.
Le boulanger n'aime que faire son pain et regarder sa jolie femme. Le jour où celle-ci s'enfuit avec un berger des environs, il n'a plus la force de faire son pain. Alors tout le village se mobilise pour retrouver la femme du boulanger.
Paradise Lost, along with its companion piece, Paradise Regained, remain the most successful attempts at Greco-Roman style epic poetry in the English language. Remarkably enough, they were written near the end of John Milton's amazing life, a bold testimonial to his mental powers in old age. And, since he had gone completely blind in 1652, 15 years prior to Paradise Lost, he dictated it and all his other works to his daughter.
Idealist, atheist, outcast, political radical and, of course, poet - Percy Bysshe Shelley was, in many ways, the epitome of the Romantic artist. His poetry was an outlet for his passionately held and highly unpopular beliefs, beliefs which resulted in social exclusion, exile, and possibly even his premature death at the age of 29. His work is a monument to his convictions and to the power of the human spirit, and today it is recognized as a key contribution to Romantic literature.
Published at the author's own expense in 1896, after rejection from publishers, this collection contains a cycle of 63 poems. Despite exploring themes of lost love, obsession, pessimism, and death, the poems touched English readers and the book became a best seller during the Second Boer War and World War I. The collection, set in a half-imagined pastoral Shropshire, includes the well-known poems "When I Was One-and-Twenty", "To an Athlete Dying Young", and "Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now".
English literature is a treasure trove of wonderful poetry. From Shakespeare to Milton, Keats to Shelley and Tennyson to Yeats, this accessible history (especially written for Naxos Audiobooks) introduces the listener to countless small masterpieces, including all the old favorites and some lesser-known gems. Whitfield explores this most expressive of art forms and traces the historical development of a rich and diverse canon of poetical works.
"An Excellent introduction"
Naxos AudioBooks continues its new series of Great Poets, represented by collections of their most popular poems in one program. W. B. Yeats was one of the most beloved poets of the 20th century. He left a large legacy of outstanding poems, and the finest are collected here: "Down by the Salley Gardens," "The Lake Isle of Inisfree," "The Secret Rose," and "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven". They are read by a strong cast, led by Olivier award-winner Jim Norton.
Four more delightful tales from one of the most entertaining storytellers of all time. Though writing in the thirteenth century, Chaucer's wit and observation comes down undiminished through the ages, especially in this accessible modern verse translation. The stories vary considerably from the uproarious Wife of Bath's Tale, promoting the power of women to the sober account of patient Griselda in the Clerk's Tale.
This critically acclaimed translation was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award given by the Academy of American Poets. Well versed, rapid, and various in style, the Inferno is narrated by Pinsky and three other leading poets: Seamus Heaney, Frank Bidart, and Louise Glück.
Noble Prize winner T. S. Eliot wrote some of the best-known, most widely discussed poetry of the past 100 years. He was a daring and uncompromising innovator. With dramatic, original music, and expressive interpretation, this recording dramatizes why his works continue to influence literature - and touch contemporary listeners.
Included are "The Love Son of J. Alfred Prufrock", "The Hollow Men", "Preludes", and "Portrait of a Lady".
Homer's epic poem, written near the end of eighth century BC in Greece, follows the hero Odysseus as he journeys home after the fall of Troy. Many scholars believe that The Odyssey was originally composed as an oral tradition and was more likely meant to be heard than read, making it a great listen.
A collection of poems written by the revered American poet, essayist, and journalist. Included are selections from this most famous work, Leaves of Grass, as well as Drum Taps and Songs of Parting.
Commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature, Beowulf is an epic poem that traces the exploits of the titular hero. After coming to the aid of the king of the Danes, whose mead hall is under constant attack by the monster Grendel, Beowulf slays Grendel's mother and goes on to become the king of the Geats.