Cover image for Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Publication Information:
[Germany?] : Naxos AudioBooks, [1997]

Physical Description:
3 audio discs (2 hrs., 51 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet.
The noble Veronese houses of Montague and Capulet are locked in a bitter fued. When Romeo, a Montague, and Juliet, a Capulet, fall in love they are swept up in a series of violent events and cruel twists of fortune.
General Note:
Compact disc.

"The complete text: fully dramatised ... using the New Cambridge Shakespeare text."--Container.

Program notes inserted in container.
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
XX(1079463.1) V.3 Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order



Cast includes Michael Sheen and Kate Beckinsale.

Author Notes

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School.

At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry.

By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true.

Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play.

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

See Voice-over, p.1870.

Library Journal Review

The new "Sourcebooks Shakespeare" series is designed to attract a wide audience by emphasizing performance as well as text. A glossary and photos from contemporary stage and film productions accompany the text of each play, and related essays offer further insights. Each title contains an integrated audio CD that is narrated by British Shakespearean actor Sir Derek Jacobi and features excerpts from memorable performances of key scenes. The series boasts stellar credits: its advisory board includes Shakespeare scholars David Bevington and Peter Holland and Chicago Shakespeare Theater director Barbara Gaines. Among the contributors are several more Shakespeare scholars as well as actress Janet Suzman and Andrew Wade, formerly head of voice for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Both volumes begin with Thomas Garvey's "In Shakespeare's `Time,' " an essay that sets the playwright in historical context, and end with "The Cast Speaks," in which casts of 2005 productions discuss their approach to the characters they portrayed. The CD accompanying the Othello volume features a variety of noteworthy performers in the title role, including Paul Robeson, Paul Scofield, and Edwin Booth; and the CD accompanying the Romeo and Juliet volume presents recordings of Kate Beckinsale, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, and Ellen Terry as Juliet; Kenneth Branagh and Michael Sheen as Romeo; Sir Derek Jacobi as Mercutio; and Sir John Gielgud as Friar Laurence. With the number of film adaptations of Shakespeare's works in recent years, public libraries should seriously consider acquiring this series.-Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Skillfully read by Claire Higgins, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet will hold listeners spellbound as they become involved in the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues and in Romeo and Juliet's plight of love. Higgins' reading is very natural, and her voice is exceedingly pleasant to listen to. The cassette includes a plot summary, an introduction to Shakespeare by Leon Garfield, as well as supplementary information about Shakespeare and his writings by Dr. Rex Gibson, all read by Simon Russell Beale. This additional information is very worthwhile and will increase the listener's understanding of Shakespeare and why he continues to be important in literature. Peter Hutchins arranged the period background music. The technical qualities are excellent, and the teaching objectives are met. This program is appropriate for individual or group listening, and the additional information will provide an excellent springboard for discussion. A superior acquisition for both public and school libraries with audio collections.-Kathy Dummer, Newcastle Middle School, WY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This hypertext version includes the full text of the play, 24 color video performances (40+ minutes), 20 minutes of video analysis and commentary by actress Judith Annozine and Shakespeare scholar Gary Taylor, plus easily accessible glosses, summaries, and paraphrases. The performances (by US Shakespearean actors) were shot on location in Verona, Padua, and Mantua. Eight MB of free RAM are required to install the video software. Screen layout is logical and easy to follow, and colors are relatively crisp. Moving through the hypertext is easy. "Pages" turn promptly and, once turned, leaf back and forth rapidly. After selecting an act of the play from the main menu, the reader proceeds through all scenes in that act; the program then reverts to the menu for selection of the next, or another, act. A 30-second introduction explains how to use the text. A passage highlighted in blue yields a paraphrase (in red) when the cursor is placed on that passage. Text underlined in red signals a video clip, which can be accessed by the video icon at the beginning of the passage. Each speech prefix includes a facial icon of the character; clicking on the icon produces a brief character sketch. Other icons relate to puns, foreshadowing, risqu^D'e jokes, or confession. Other menu features point to paraphrase, summary, or commentary. Sound effects of a projector accompany the video clips and rustling pages the digitalized "page turning." Although this is an excellent product, it has some problems, particularly with the video clips. The video clip window is too small; the coverage is unbalanced--approximately 600 lines are performed: Juliet (257 lines), Friar Lawrence (151), the Nurse (88), Romeo (84), Mercutio (0); the musical background is sometimes too loud; and the sound is slightly out of sync (but distracting only in face shots). In addition, the textual glosses are presented as "modern paraphrases" (fair is glossed "cute") and are sometimes inconsistent (mattock is glossed in different places as "hatchet" and as "crowbar," and Romeo's comment that Juliet must think him an "old" murderer is not glossed). This reviewer would prefer not to hear a chiding "Nasty!" when clicking the icon for the explication of a bawdy line. And one might challenge some editorial content (Benvolio's facial icon suggests that Benvolio is lovesick for Romeo). But all in all this product is a joy to experience, easy to install and use, and appropriate for all undergraduates in both mediated and end-user applications.



'Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight, for I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.' Excerpted from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.