The sound of Shakespeare's English

A new British Library recording offers scenes from Shakespeare spoken in a reconstruction of the Elizabethan accent. NPR's Weekend Edition interviewed Ben Crystal, who directed and acted in the project.

Instead of the elegant upper-class speech we are accustomed to hearing from great 20th-century Shakespearean actors like Sir Laurence Olivier and Dame Judi  Dench, the speech on the recording sounds "a little more Edinburgh — and sometimes even more Appalachia — than you might expect." Perhaps we may hope to see Sean Bean as the next great King Lear.