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Epic

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  1. 19.8 hrs • 4/19/2016 • Unabridged

    With her virtuoso translation, classicist and bestselling author Caroline Alexander brings to life Homer’s timeless epic of the Trojan War. Composed around 730 B.C., Homer’s Iliad recounts the events of a few momentous weeks in the protracted ten-year war between the invading Achaeans, or Greeks, and the Trojans in their besieged city of Ilion. From the explosive confrontation between Achilles, the greatest warrior at Troy, and Agamemnon, the inept leader of the Greeks, through to its tragic conclusion, The Iliad explores the abiding, blighting facts of war. Soldier and civilian, victor and vanquished, hero and coward, men, women, young, old—The Iliad evokes in poignant, searing detail the fate of every life ravaged by the Trojan War. And, as told by Homer, this ancient tale of a particular Bronze Age conflict becomes a sublime and sweeping evocation of the destruction of war throughout the ages. Carved close to the original Greek, acclaimed classicist Caroline Alexander’s new translation is swift and lean, with the driving cadence of its source—a translation epic in scale and yet devastating in its precision and power.

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    The Iliad

    Translated by Caroline Alexander
    19.8 hrs • 4/19/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 33.2 hrs • 11/1/2015 • Unabridged

    This remarkable poem, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I, was Spenser’s finest achievement. The first epic poem in modern English, The Faerie Queene combines dramatic narratives of chivalrous adventure with exquisite and picturesque episodes of pageantry. At the same time, Spenser is expounding a deeply felt allegory of the eternal struggle between truth and error.

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    The Faerie Queene

    33.2 hrs • 11/1/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 13.0 hrs • 5/5/2015 • Unabridged

    The masterpiece of Rome’s greatest poet, Virgil’s Aeneid has inspired generations of readers and holds a central place in Western literature. The epic tells the story of a group of refugees from the ruined city of Troy, whose attempts to reach a promised land in the West are continually frustrated by the hostile goddess Juno. Finally reaching Italy, their leader, Aeneas, is forced to fight a bitter war against the natives to establish the foundations from which Rome is destined to rise. This magnificent poem, in the modern translation by Cecil Day Lewis, is superbly read by David Collins.

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    The Aeneid

    Translated by Cecil Day Lewis
    13.0 hrs • 5/5/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 1.2 hrs • 4/24/2015 • Unabridged

    Satan having come past the Earth, with meditated guile returns as a mist by Night into Paradise, enters into the Serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the Morning go forth to their labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart: Adam consents not, alleging the danger, lest that Enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her found alone: Eve loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength; Adam at last yields: The Serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all other Creatures. Eve wondering to hear the Serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech and such understanding not till now; the Serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain Tree in the Garden he attained both to Speech and Reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that Tree, and finds it to be the Tree of Knowledge forbidden …

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    Paradise Lost: Book IX

    1.2 hrs • 4/24/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 4.0 hrs • 8/21/2014 • Abridged

    The Faerie Queene is the triumphant culmination of Edmund Spenser’s poetic work, dating from the 1590s. This remarkable poem, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I, was the first epic poem in modern English. It combines dramatic narratives of chivalrous adventure with exquisite and picturesque episodes of pageantry, and at the same time is an allegory about religion in Spenser’s England and the struggle between Truth and Error.

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    The Faerie Queene

    4.0 hrs • 8/21/14 • Abridged
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  6. 1.0 hrs • 5/20/2014 • Unabridged

    William Blake was an unconventional radical in his day, an early member of the Romantics and heavily influenced by Emanuel Swedenborg’s esoteric philosophy. His wild imagination, with its undercurrents of mysticism, spiritualism, and philosophy, is apparent in two of Blake’s epics included here, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and America, a Prophecy. Though he lived in poverty and died without much recognition, Blake’s vivid and intense work is still relevant in the modern day, inspiring artists as diverse as the Beat poets, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Jim Morrison. His visionary poetry and art made a significant contribution to Western thought, and he was canonized as Gnostic Saint by the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica in 1997.

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    William Blake

    1.0 hrs • 5/20/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 20.1 hrs • 6/16/2010 • Unabridged

    One of the foremost achievements in Western literature, Homer’s Iliad tells the story of the darkest episode in the Trojan War. At its center is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his refusal to fight after being humiliated by his leader, Agamemnon. But when the Trojan Hector kills Achilles’s close friend Patroclus, Achilles storms back into battle to take revenge—knowing full well that this will ensure his own early death. This tragic series of events is interwoven with powerfully moving descriptions of the ebb and flow of battle, of the domestic world inside Troy’s besieged city of Ilium, and of the conflicts between the gods on Olympus as they argue over the fate of mortals. The Iliad is a work of extraordinary pathos and profundity that concerns itself with issues as fundamental as the meaning of life and death. Even the heroic ethic itself—with its emphasis on pride, honor, prowess in battle, and submission to the inexorable will of the gods—is not left unquestioned. This version of the Iliad is the translation by Alexander Pope.

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    The Iliad

    Read by Michael Page
    20.1 hrs • 6/16/10 • Unabridged
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  8. 9.2 hrs • 10/27/2009 • Unabridged

    John Milton’s Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems in the English language. It tells the story of the Fall of Man, a tale of immense drama and excitement, of rebellion and treachery, of innocence pitted against corruption, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind’s destiny. The struggle rages across three worlds—heaven, hell, and earth—as Satan and his band of rebel angels plot their revenge against God. At the center of the conflict are Adam and Eve, who are motivated by all too human temptations but whose ultimate downfall is unyielding love. Marked by Milton’s characteristic erudition, Paradise Lost is a work epic both in scale and, notoriously, in ambition. For nearly 350 years, it has held generation upon generation of audiences in rapt attention, and its profound influence can be seen in almost every corner of Western culture.

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    Paradise Lost

    9.2 hrs • 10/27/09 • Unabridged
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    11.5 hrs • 10/1/2008 • Unabridged

    One of the great masterpieces of Western literature, Odyssey chronicles the many trials and adventures Odysseus must pass through on his long journey home from the Trojan wars. Though the stormy, vengeful god of the ocean is determined to keep him off course, Odysseus is clever and has the brilliant goddess Athena on his side. With wit, integrity, and bravery, Odysseus must escape the grip of the fearsome Cyclops, resist the deadly seductions of sirens and witches, and traverse the land of the dead to commune with his fallen comrades before returning to his beloved wife, who has waited for him for twenty years. A storehouse of Greek folklore and myth, Homer’s epic tale remains as captivating today as it was 2,700 years ago.

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    Odyssey by Homer

    Odyssey

    Translated by W. H. D. Rouse
    11.5 hrs • 10/1/08 • Unabridged
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  10. 9.8 hrs • 8/1/2008 • Abridged

    This thoughtful collection of John Milton’s finest poetry marks four hundred years since the poet’s birth in 1608. Milton’s uncompromising views set him firmly on the side of Cromwell, putting his life in danger when the Stuart monarchy was restored. He is now remembered for Paradise Lost and a strong collection of other poetry which influenced successive generations. This collection offers an ideal overview, including selections from Paradise Lost and the complete Paradise Regained, excerpts from other major works, including Comus and Samson Agonistes, as well as sonnets and famous shorter poems such as “On His Blindness,” plus a biography of Milton himself.

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  11. 9.3 hrs • 4/15/2007 • Abridged

    Homer’s masterpiece tells the story of Odysseus, the ideal Greek hero, as he travels home to Ithaca after the Trojan War—a journey of ten years and countless thrilling adventures. Rich in Greek folklore and myth, featuring gods and goddesses, monsters and sorceresses, The Odyssey has enchanted listeners around the world for thousands of years. Mandelbaum’s robust, romantic, lyrical translation has an openness and immediacy unsurpassed by any other. Read aloud, it is a wonderful way to experience this enduring classic.

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    The Odyssey

    Translated by Allen Mandelbaum
    9.3 hrs • 4/15/07 • Abridged
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  12. 2.3 hrs • 2/1/2006 • Unabridged

    The Canterbury Tales is the most famous and acclaimed work of the late fourteenth-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer. This recording of the “General Prologue” and “The Physician’s Tale” are read in the original Middle English by Richard Bebb, under the direction of a leading Chaucerian scholar, Professor Derek Brewer. It is an authoritative performance that brilliantly evokes the world of the Middles Ages both for the general reader and the student alike. This is followed by a witty modern verse translation, and provides a fascinating contrast with the original.

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  13. 15.0 hrs • 1/1/2005 • Unabridged

    Byron’s exuberant masterpiece narrates the exploits of Don Juan, a handsome and charming young man naturally gifted with the ladies. After his first illicit love affair at the age of sixteen in his native Spain, Don Juan is exiled to Italy and catapulted into a string of adventures that send him into dire peril and luxurious boudoirs around the world. Following a dramatic shipwreck and an affair with a pirate’s daughter on a Greek island, he is sold into slavery and finds himself in a Sultan’s harem, then in battle in Turkey, and finally in Russia, where he becomes the lover of Catherine the Great. Written in ottava rima stanza form, Byron’s Don Juan blends high drama with outrageous farce. Sprinkled with digressions on wealth, power, society, chastity, poets, and England, Don Juan is a poetical novel of satirical fervor and wit.

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    Don Juan by Lord Byron

    Don Juan

    15.0 hrs • 1/1/06 • Unabridged
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  14. 0 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5
    2.8 hrs • 3/1/2004 • Unabridged

    The earliest extant heroic epic in any European vernacular, Beowulf is considered the most important poem in Old English. The title character is a warrior of superhuman strength who accomplishes glorious deeds to honor his king. He also represents the ideal lord and vassal, generous to his own men while fulfilling all the forms of courtesy at court. The narrative itself falls into two parts: Beowulf first rescues the royal house of Denmark from two marauding monsters; then, after having ruled his people peacefully for fifty years, he is called upon to combat a dragon that is terrorizing the countryside. Combining mythical elements with actual historical figures and events, the narrative ranges from fierce action sequences to detailed portrayals of court life and earnest considerations of social and moral dilemmas, all in a tone of sustained grandeur.

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    Beowulf by Anonymous

    Beowulf

    Anonymous author
    Produced and directed by Yuri Rasovsky
    2.8 hrs • 3/1/04 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5
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