SmartPass Plus Audio Education Study Guide to King Lear (Unabridged, Dramatised, Commentary Options)

  • by William Shakespeare, Mike Reeves
  • Narrated by Joan Walker, Terrence Hardiman, Lucy Robinson
  • 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here is the multi award-winning SmartPass study guide with and without commentary options. This is a full-cast, unabridged performance, with comprehensive commentary and analysis, enabling students to fully understand and appreciate the play. Judge for yourself whether Lear is "a man more sinned against than sinning" in this moral tale that pits wisdom and age against ambition and youth. Experience and examine the power of Shakespeare's most cruel and violent tragedy.


What the Critics Say

"Superb! A totally brilliant way to revise." (Daily Express)
"A wealth of useful material." (Times Educational Supplement)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent guide to a Great Play

After having thoroughly enjoyed the SmartPass Guide to MacBeth, I have now listened to King Lear as well. A much longer play, with a lot of complexity. The commentary version goes through the play in great detail. At some points, the play is significantly slowed down by it. However, once you listen to the full unabridged play without commentary afterwards, you can easily follow the main plot and all subplots, and you will start to appreciate the SmartPass help you received earlier on. King Lear is truly a Great Play by Shakespeare, it touches on many profound human emotions. The one element that annoyed me is the great emphasis on insanity (the Fool, Porton) which I think was "overdone". I personally favour MacBeth over King Lear. Looking forward to the next SmartPass Shakespeare play, probably I will go through Hamlet.
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- Philip

A qualified critique

If one has never read Lear, or any other Shakespeare, maybe this voice-over Lear would be informative. If, on the other hand, you have a passing knowledge of the play, any of Shakespeare's other works, the history and manners of Elizabethan England, or even the English language, this reviewer suggests giving this recording a pass. This series must have been conceived for high school students and this text is marred by dumbed down writing and teacherly, slightly condescending narration. I didn't think it was possible to make Lear unlistenable, but Mister Reeves and Ms. Walker have succeeded.

My five star rating is for the play, which I consider Shakespeare's finest. The two stars are for the concept and execution of the voice-over narration.

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- richard

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-05-2008
  • Publisher: SmartPass