Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Source: Wired for Books (Act 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 )
Length: 1 hr 48 min
Readers: Actor's Theater of Columbus, Ohio

The book: Macbeth is a good subject of the Scottish King Duncan until some witches show up to suggest Macbeth will be king. With his wife's heavy persuasion, Macbeth murders Duncan and becomes King of Scotland himself. For a while, everything is fine. But if you've ever seen a Coen brothers film, you know that these kind of criminal enterprises tend to go horribly wrong. Soon, Macbeth is murdering everyone around him and Lady Macbeth has gone insane.

Although I first read Macbeth in high school, it took until I saw the play live at the Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta until I really enjoyed it. Like many great works of art, I have to see, hear, or read Shakespeare's plays several times before I can really appreciate them. The first time through, I'm just trying to puzzle out the language. It takes until the third or fourth time I encounter the play, usually in different formats, before I can really appreciate the depth of the work. Even if you've already read or seen this play, do yourself a favor and listen to it one more time.

Rating: 8/10

The readers: The reason I rarely review audio plays is because there's just so much going on that it's hard to encompass everything in a short review. I'll be brief by saying the actors here do a fine job of bringing the play to audio. Sometimes it's a bit difficult to follow what they're saying, but that's more because of the complexity of the language than the actors' voices or the recording quality. I'd recommend following along with a printed text rather than trying to listen to this one in your car.

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