This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.View all copies of this ISBN edition:
Among Shakespeare's plays, Hamlet is considered by many his masterpiece. Among actors, the role of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is considered the jewel in the crown of a triumphant theatrical career. Now Kenneth Branagh plays the leading role and co-directs a brillant ensemble performance. Three generations of legendary leading actors, many of whom first assembled for the Oscar-winning film Henry V, gather here to perform the rarely heard complete version of the play. This clear, subtly nuanced, stunning dramatization, presented by The Renaissance Theatre Company in association with Bbc Broadcasting, features such luminaries as Sir John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, Emma Thompson and Christopher Ravenscroft. It combines a full cast with stirring music and sound effects to bring this magnificent Shakespearen classic vividly to life. Revealing new riches with each listening, this production of Hamlet is an invaluable aid for students, teachers and all true lovers of Shakespeare -- a recording to be treasured for decades to come.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Act 1 Scene 1 running scene 1
Enter Barnardo and Francisco, two sentinels Meeting
BARNARDO Who's there?
FRANCISCO Nay, answer me: stand and unfold yourself.
BARNARDO Long live the king!
FRANCISCO You come most carefully upon your hour.
BARNARDO 'Tis now struck twelve: get thee to bed, Francisco.
FRANCISCO For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.
BARNARDO Have you had quiet guard?
FRANCISCO Not a mouse stirring.
BARNARDO Well, goodnight.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
Enter Horatio and Marcellus
FRANCISCO I think I hear them.- Stand! Who's there?
HORATIO Friends to this ground.
MARCELLUS And liegemen to the Dane.
FRANCISCO Give you goodnight.
MARCELLUS O, farewell, honest soldier. Who hath relieved you?
FRANCISCO Barnardo has my place. Give you goodnight.
MARCELLUS Holla! Barnardo!
BARNARDO Say, what, is Horatio there?
HORATIO A piece of him.
BARNARDO Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.
MARCELLUS What, has this thing appeared again tonight?
BARNARDO I have seen nothing.
MARCELLUS Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,
And will not let belief take hold of him
Touching this dreaded sight twice seen of us:
Therefore I have entreated him along
With us to watch the minutes of this night,
That if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes and speak to it.
HORATIO Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.
BARNARDO Sit down awhile,
And let us once again assail your ears,
That are so fortified against our story,
What we two nights have seen.
HORATIO Well, sit we down,
And let us hear Barnardo speak of this.
BARNARDO Last night of all,
When yond same star that's westward from the pole
Had made his course t'illume that part of heaven
Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
The bell then beating one-
MARCELLUS Peace, break thee off.
Enter the Ghost
Look where it comes again.
BARNARDO In the same figure like the king that's dead.
MARCELLUS Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.
BARNARDO Looks it not like the king? Mark it, Horatio.
HORATIO Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.
BARNARDO It would be spoke to.
MARCELLUS Question it, Horatio.
HORATIO What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,
Together with that fair and warlike form
In which the majesty of buried Denmark
Did sometimes march? By heaven I charge thee speak!
MARCELLUS It is offended.
BARNARDO See, it stalks away.
HORATIO Stay! Speak, speak! I charge thee, speak! Exit the Ghost
MARCELLUS 'Tis gone and will not answer.
BARNARDO How now, Horatio? You tremble and look pale.
Is not this something more than fantasy?
What think you on't?
HORATIO Before my God, I might not this believe
Without the sensible and true avouch
Of mine own eyes.
MARCELLUS Is it not like the king?
HORATIO As thou art to thyself.
Such was the very armour he had on
When he th'ambitious Norway combated:
So frowned he once when, in an angry parle,
He smote the steelèd pole-axe on the ice.
MARCELLUS Thus twice before, and just at this dead hour,
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
HORATIO In what particular thought to work I know not,
But in the gross and scope of my opinion,
This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
MARCELLUS Good now, sit down and tell me, he that knows,
Why this same strict and most observant watch
So nightly toils the subject of the land,
And why such daily cast of brazen cannon
And foreign mart for implements of war:
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
Does not divide the Sunday from the week:
What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day:
Who is't that can inform me?
HORATIO That can I,
At least, the whisper goes so: our last king,
Whose image even but now appeared to us,
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
Thereto pricked on by a most emulate pride,
Dared to the combat, in which our valiant Hamlet -
For so this side of our known world esteemed him -
Did slay this Fortinbras, who by a sealed compact,
Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
Which he stood seized on to the conqueror:
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gagèd by our king, which had returned
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vanquisher, as, by the same cov'nant,
And carriage of the article designed,
His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Of unimprovèd mettle hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there
Sharked up a list of landless resolutes
For food and diet to some enterprise
That hath a stomach in't, which is no other -
And it doth well appear unto our state -
But to recover of us, by strong hand
And terms compulsative, those foresaid lands
So by his father lost: and this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations,
The source of this our watch and the chief head
Of this post-haste and rummage in the land.
Enter Ghost again
But soft, behold! Lo, where it comes again!
I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion!
If thou hast any sound or use of voice,
Speak to me:
If there be any good thing to be done
That may to thee do ease and grace to me,
Speak to me:
If thou art privy to thy country's fate -
Which, haply, foreknowing may avoid - O, speak!
Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth - [A cock crows]
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death -
Speak of it: stay and speak!- Stop it, Marcellus.
MARCELLUS Shall I strike at it with my partisan?
HORATIO Do, if it will not stand. They attempt to strike it
BARNARDO 'Tis here!
HORATIO 'Tis here!
MARCELLUS 'Tis gone! Exit Ghost
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it the show of violence,
For it is as the air invulnerable,
And our vain blows malicious mockery.
BARNARDO It was about to speak when the cock crew.
HORATIO And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard
The cock, that is the trumpet to the day,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the god of day, and at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
Th'extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine: and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.
MARCELLUS It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long,
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad:
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy talks, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is the time.
HORATIO So have I heard and do in part believe it.
But, look, the morn in russet mantle clad,
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill.
Break we our watch up, and by my advice,
Let us impart what we have seen tonight
Unto young Hamlet, for upon my life,
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?
MARCELLUS Let's do't, I pray, and I this morning know
Where we shall find him most conveniently. Exeunt
Act 1 Scene 2 running scene 2
Enter Claudius King of Denmark, Gertrude the Queen, Hamlet,
Polonius, Laertes and his sister Ophelia, Lords Attendant
KING Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
The memory be green, and that it us befitted
To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom
To be contracted in one brow of woe,
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
That we with wisest sorrow think on him
Together with remembrance of ourselves.
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
Th'imperial jointress of this warlike state,
Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,
With one auspicious and one dropping eye,
With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
In equal scale weighing delight and dole,
Taken to wife; nor have we herein barred
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
With this affair along. For all, our thanks.
Now follows that you know young Fortinbras,
Holding a weak supposal of our worth,
Or thinking by our late dear brother's death
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,
Colleaguèd with the dream of his advantage,
He hath not failed to pester us with message
Importing the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
To our most valiant brother. So much for him.
Enter Voltemand and Cornelius
Now for ourself and for this time of meeting,
Thus much the business is: we have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras -
Who, impotent and bedrid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose - to suppress
His further gait herein, in that the levies,
The lists and full proportions, are all made
Out of his subject. And we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltemand,
For bearing of this greeting to old Norway,
Giving to you no further personal power
To business with the king, more than the scope
Of these dilated articles allow. [Gives a paper]
Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.
VOLTEMAND In that, and all things, will we show our duty.
KING We doubt it nothing: heartily farewell.-
Exeunt Voltemand and Cornelius
And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
This BBC Radio presentation combines a full cast--featuring Kenneth Branagh in the title role--with stirring music and sound effects to bring this lengthy, difficult play to life. A number of production touches help the listener. Seven of the eight cassette sides end with the conclusion of a scene, and appropriate music signals the end of each act. In addition, a twenty-four-page booklet offers insight into each character as seen by the actor who plays each part. Listeners would benefit, however, from a brief synopsis of each scene, as well as mention of the characters who appear in them. P.B.J. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Random House Audio, 1993. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0553472259