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Download Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Stephen Greenblatt
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,124 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen Greenblatt Narrator: Peter Jay Fernandez Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2004 ISBN:
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Award-winning author Stephen Greenblatt is one of the most influential literary thinkers in the world. An acclaimed interpreter of Shakespeare's works, his ideas have changed the way countless people approach the classics. Now Greenblatt's uniquely brilliant voice delivers a magnificent biography of the Bard himself.

It is impossible to have any understanding of literature and not be familiar with William Shakepeare. He has influenced Western culture more than any other author. But how were Shakespeare's remarkable accomplishments even possible? How could a man without wealth, connections, or a university education move to London and quickly become the greatest playwright of all time? In this emerging narrative, Elizabethan England is reawakened, and we at last understand how Shakespeare became a legendary figure. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 2/9/2014

    " Greenblatt knows Shakespeare like no one else. A wealth of fun, historical and little known info about the bard. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vera | 2/6/2014

    " An interesting biography, especially since so little is known of Shakespeare's life. My only problem with this book was how much of it was based on the plays and sonnets. We cannot know that an attitude a writer expresses is a reflection of his own feelings on a subject, especially when he is portraying either historical figures, or well-known characters in the public mind. The fact that the largest part of his work was written for the stage, not to be read, would indicate even more that his characters would have to be larger than life, and they all can't reflect his beliefs. The background information about the historical world he lived in was interesting if not new, and the book was well-written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 2/4/2014

    " Another biography I enjoyed. Informative and detailed, but it kept my interest nicely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 1/22/2014

    " I enjoyed this book which was recommended to me by a client of mine. It attempts to give a portrait of Shakepeare based on documentary evidence about his life, a knowledge of the culture and history of his times, as well as the ideas and language of his work. Of course it is mostly quite speculative, but still very entertaining and informative. I would recommend it to Shakespeare lovers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 1/2/2014

    " While Shakespeare's life is largely guesswork, Greenblatt here offers a fine explanation for all that he believes to be the life of the Bard of Avon, using the evidence available to make plausible explanations for such things as Shakespeare's marriage, religion, and views on retirement. The narrator is also a fine choice, reciting Shakespeare's lines with the appropriate amount of gusto. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stuart | 12/23/2013

    " Recommended for anyone with an interest in Shakespeare and/or Elizabethan times. As a history, it's very readable and full of marvelous factoids - for instance, we learn that paper was so expensive in those days that actors didn't get the complete script to a play, just their lines and cues on a small roll of paper - hence the word 'role.' As an interpretive guide to his works, it's even better, pointing out lines that slyly give the finger to his rivals, exploring how the death of his son Hamnet informed his most celebrated tragedy, and making a strong case for the argument that he wrote many of his finest love sonnets to a man, many more to a mistress who gave him VD, and none at all to his wife back in Stratford, whom he notoriously slammed in his will by leaving her his "second best bed." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Petersen | 12/19/2013

    " Comprehensive but not boring. Greenblatt does a great job of putting WS into context. My relative lack of familiarity with The Bard's body of work was not a barrier. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas | 12/8/2013

    " A fascinating book. Not intended for the Shakespearian novice, Will in the World can nevertheless be enjoyed by the reader who is reasonably familiar with the plot lines and basic history of Shakespeare's life and times. Greenblatt's insights on Shaespeare's personal and family life as well as the historical and cultural context of his work are tremendous. I actually listened to an audio version of the book, which has the advantage of the narrator's excellent interpretations of the many lines of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amber | 11/30/2013

    " Greenblatt's evidence can be a bit thin at times but he does a great job making plausible and occasionally provocative connections to create a new model of biographical study. His academic study, "Renaissance Self Fashioning" is even better. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 bredoblet | 11/22/2013

    " Overly academic and way too speculative for an summer read. Why I brought this to Moloka'i is beyond me. Nonethemore, I felt obligated to finish it, even though it nearly killed me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thorsten | 11/22/2013

    " Had Shakespeare lived in the 21st century and had he come across this book, it is probaby as likely as not that he might have read it - or any other book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 4/5/2013

    " At 40, the Bard meditates on old age. Stephen Greenblatt's reconstruction of Shakespeare's life and era. Read by Toby Stephens. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 S.n. | 4/1/2013

    " Brilliant analysis and synthesis of the social, political, and professional milieu of Shakespeare. Captivating writing style and technique. One of the best books I have read. Enjoyed every page. Warmly recommend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lana | 7/27/2012

    " A remarkably compelling and insightful glimpse into the historical records and real life events surrounding one of the world's most elusive writers. Bravo! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 6/21/2012

    " Haven't been able to get into it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 12/23/2011

    " Well written and consistently fascinating, if extremely speculative. The Shakespeare Greenblatt builds is basically an elaborate house of cards, but is worth the read even so. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann Canann | 9/6/2011

    " One to come back to again and again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheila | 8/25/2011

    " Shakespeare's biography. Interesting at times, occassionally dry but well written and researched. Glad I read it. Especially liked the comparison of Shakespeare's life and how it affected his writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Herzog | 8/24/2011

    " As other reviewers have noted, there is a good deal of speculation going on in this book due to lack of historical evidence. Nevertheless, the speculation is interesting and illuminating. Since I am a fan of the tragedies, I found the last third of the book especially gripping and insightful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 8/9/2011

    " This was a really good biography on Shakespeare...just a little hard to read. It got boring sometimes, but it was a really awesome summary and understanding of his life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dorothy | 7/26/2011

    " Totally illuminating. Anyone who thinks the plays were written by someone else should read this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chelsi | 4/5/2011

    " GREAT READ. I read the whole book in 1 day. I learned so much about Shakespeare. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becca | 1/24/2011

    " I found this book to be a riveting tale of Shakespeare's life. The narrative flowed easily, and was fascinating to follow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 1/4/2011

    " Tremendous book about Shakespeare's life with some necessary conjecture but also plenty of historical fact. It would have greatly helped my appreciation of all those plays and sonnets I had to read in high school and college to have had the personal and historical context Greenblatt offers here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie | 1/2/2011

    " A very satisfying read for those who take their genius with salt and grit. Admiration without idealization can be as difficult to come by as detailed sleuthing without overanalysis, but Greenblatt is in pragmatic love. If you study Shakespeare syllables-up, you'll want this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 12/15/2010

    " Great book! Enjoyed so much had me searching for additional bios on Shakespeare... "

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About the Author
Author Stephen Greenblatt

Stephen Greenblatt, PhD, is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. General editor of The Norton Shakespeare, he is also the author of several books. He has edited seven collections of criticism, including Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto, and is a founding coeditor of the journal Representations. His honors include the MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize for Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England, the Distinguished Humanist Award from the Mellon Foundation, the Wilbur Cross Medal from the Yale University Graduate School, the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, the Erasmus Institute Prize, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, Berkeley. He was president of the Modern Language Association of America and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

About the Narrator

Peter Jay Fernandez is an accomplished audiobook narrator who has won three AudioFile Earphones Awards and an Audie Award in 2009. He has also appeared on television, film, and stage. His appearances include roles in Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and the musical Thunder Knocking on the Door.