William Shakespeare
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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire and was baptised on 26 April 1564. Thought to have been educated at the local grammar school, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he went on to have three children, at the age of eighteen, before moving to London to work in the theatre. Two erotic poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were published in 1593 and 1594 and records of his plays begin to appear in 1594 for Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI. Shakespeare's tragic period lasted from around 1600 to 1608, during which period he wrote plays including Hamlet and Othello. The first editions of the sonnets were published in 1609 but evidence suggests that Shakespeare had been writing them for years for a private readership. Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life in Stratford, by now a wealthy man. He died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623. (The portrait details: The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. NPG1, © National Portrait Gallery, London)

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    • Classic BBC Radio Shakespeare: Tragedies

    • Hamlet; Macbeth; Romeo and Juliet
    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: full cast, Paul Scofield, Peggy Ashcroft, and others
    • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 68
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 61
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 62

    Three powerful radio productions from the BBC archives starring Ian McKellen, Ronald Pickup and Paul Scofield and a host of celebrated acting talent....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Think before buying this

    • By Lewis Kane on 10-01-18

    Regular price: £19.99

    • The Tempest

    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Sir Ian McKellen, Emilia Fox, Scott Handy, and others
    • Length: 2 hrs and 7 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 87
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 75
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 76

    Sir Ian McKellen, fresh from his performance as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, is Prospero, and heads a strong cast in Shakespeare’s last great play....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Tempestuous Performance

    • By Mr on 24-07-15

    Regular price: £9.19

    • Othello (Dramatized)

    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ewan McGregor, Kelly Reilly
    • Length: 2 hrs and 36 mins
    • Abridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 86
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 74
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 75

    Shakespeare's Othello is one of his finest and most famous tragedies....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great into ready for further study.

    • By mrs c moore on 10-09-17

    Regular price: £9.19

    • As You Like It

    • Arkangel Shakespeare
    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Niamh Cusack, Stephen Mangan, Victoria Hamilton, and others
    • Length: 2 hrs and 27 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 21
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 19
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 18

    This pastoral comedy is one of Shakespeare's best loved, owing to its delightful heroine - the wise, witty, and virtuous Rosalind....

    Regular price: £13.59

    • Twelfth Night

    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: full cast, David Tennant, Naomi Frederick
    • Length: 2 hrs and 1 min
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 20
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 14

    David Tennant stars as Malvolio in Shakespeare's comedy of disguise, madness and love. One of Shakespeare's happiest plays, Twelfth Night is both a comedy of misrule....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Twelfth Night

    • By Amazon Customer on 15-01-19

    Regular price: £12.00

    • King Lear

    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Paul Scofield, Alec McCowen, Kenneth Branagh
    • Length: 3 hrs and 6 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 42
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 33
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 34

    The tragedy of King Lear receives an outstanding performance in an all-star cast led by Britain’s senior classical actor, Paul Scofield....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Not unabridged

    • By Liz on 28-11-17

    Regular price: £18.09

    • The Merchant of Venice

    • Arkangel Shakespeare
    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Trevor Peacock, Bill Nighy, Haydn Gwynne, and others
    • Length: 2 hrs and 16 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 32
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 30
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 30

    In Shakespeare's most controversial play, the opposing values of justice and mercy must be resolved....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • 1st class

    • By Shades of Blue on 04-04-18

    Regular price: £13.59

    • Hamlet

    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Laurence Olivier
    • Length: 2 hrs and 23 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 5
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 3

    Hamlet is set in Denmark, and recounts how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet's father....

    Regular price: £11.89

    • King Richard III

    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Kenneth Branagh, Geraldine McEwan, Nicholas Farrell, and others
    • Length: 3 hrs and 19 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 33
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 23
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 24

    Written in 1593, King Richard III is one of Shakespeare's earliest plays....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Now Is the reading of our most content

    • By Sparkest on 06-01-18

    Regular price: £16.89

    • Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • By: William Shakespeare
    • Narrated by: Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, and others
    • Length: 3 hrs and 25 mins
    • Original Recording
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 28
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 27
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 27

    Distressed by his father's death and his mother's over-hasty remarriage, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is faced by a specter from beyond the grave bearing a grim message....

    Regular price: £16.39

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