Amleth's Tale - Audio Book
"Not idly do I wear the mask of folly, for I doubt not that he who destroyed his brother will riot as ruthlessly in the blood of his kindred."
Amleth's Tale is the original Danish legend that ultimately inspired Shakespeare's greatest play, Hamlet - the name of the latter being an anagram of the former.
The story was first written in full by a Christian monk in the early years of the thirteenth century, charged with recording the legends of Denmark, to put them on a par with Greek classics such as Homer's writings.
The monk was Saxo Grammaticus, who wrote Gesta Danorum - The History of the Danes. The later volumes were history proper, though the first volumes are a treasure trove of myths and legends, mingling folklore, heathen religion, and heroic tales.
In 1905, the English Literature scholar Oliver Elton translated those folkloric volumes, preserving Saxo's bombastic turn of phrase into an English that is archaic, and reminiscent of Shakespearean English, while accessible to the modern reader. The translation is a tour de force, and a work of literature in its own right.
Among these tales is that of Amleth, a young Danish prince, whose father has been murdered by his uncle. Fearing for his own life, Amleth feigns madness . . . .
This audio-book is a recording of Elton's translation of the latter half of Saxo's Book Three, which runs parallel to Shakespeare's Hamlet. The running time is just shy of 30 minutes, with an accompanying transcript as a PDF file.
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This is a 100% digital download product - there is no physical product, and no wait. The main part is a set of MP3 files, plus a PDF transcript. To read the PDF file, you can get a free PDF reader from Adobe.com, though alternative readers, like Sumatra PDF Reader, are also available.
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The price is £3 GBP / $4 USD. (Taxes may have to be added depending on circumstances.) This is practically a gift.