Reader and listener be – Hamlet on the iPad

The Reading Odyssey’s “Shakespeare in the Spring” program combines 21st century technology with Shakespeare’s early 17th century masterpiece.


Richard Johnston, Harvard postdoc, who is the moderator for the 2010 section of “Shakespeare in the Spring”, recommends we read the text and listen to an audio version of the play at the same time.

So last night, with Apple’s new iPad, I downloaded the Hamlet text from the iBooks application on the iPad and downloaded the podcast of the 1999 BBC’s audio version of Hamlet. 

I then opened the ebook to Act 1, Scene 1 and clicked play on the the BBC podcast. Within moments, I had purchased and started listening to/reading Hamlet. 

Below is a short video clip showing me reading the words and listening to the BBC actors at the moment when Hamlet’s father – the ghost – reveals himself (Act 1, Scene 5). The quality of the clip is poor but you can get the sense of my reading/listening experience.

This combination of 21st century technology with Shakespeare’s early 17th century masterpiece makes it easier and more fun to read Shakespeare (for the non-expert). 

We at the Reading Odyssey are constantly looking for ways to make great literature more accessible and fun. That’s our mission. 

What do you think? 

What are some other ways to combine technology and great literature that improve the reading experience for the general public?


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