Mary Stuart


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.8 stars; 5 reviews)

Schiller's tragedy depicts the final days of Mary, Queen of Scots, who has been imprisoned by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, because of her potential claim on the English throne. The action of the play revolves around an attempt to rescue Mary from prison and Elizabeth's indecision over whether or not to have her executed. The 1801 translation is by Joseph Mellish, a friend of Schiller's. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett)

Cast:
Queen Elizabeth: Elizabeth Klett
Mary Stuart: Arielle Lipshaw
Earl of Leicester: David Goldfarb
Earl of Shrewsbury: Bruce Pirie
Lord Burleigh: Andy Minter
Earl of Kent: Mark F. Smith
Sir William Davison / Officer / Melvil: Algy Pug
Sir Amias Paulet: Martin Geeson
Sir Edward Mortimer: mb
Count L'Aubespine: om123
O'Kelly / Burgoyne: Dale Burgess
Count Bellievre: Matthew Reece
Hannah Kennedy: Availle
Margaret Curl: lavahna
Page: Philippa
First Woman: Lucy Perry
Narrator: Roseanne Schmidt

Audio edited by: Elizabeth Klett

(4 hr 1 min)

Chapters

Act 1 1:03:05 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 2 58:28 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 3 34:02 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 4 40:46 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 5 45:07 Read by LibriVox Volunteers

Reviews

Schiller's most sublime and provocative play

(5 stars)

This is the greatest play of Germany's greatest playwright. I encourage anyone who thinks that these are too many superlatives in a row to simply listen to this and then you will end up agreeing with me. ;-) Schiller was more than a playwright; he was a philosopher of the theatre, and each of his plays is a profound meditation on the human condition. Here he takes the story of Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I and their bitter dispute for the throne of England and turns it into an examination of faith, power, mercy, courage, and the ways the forces of history constrain even the most powerful. Schiller imagines Mary's tragic downfall as that of a woman who wants too fervently to remain true to herself and her deepest convictions. Each character is fully rounded and represents a novel viewpoint on the unfolding events, and leaves the reader spending days evaluating who was right, who was wrong, then backtracking over all those arguments again and coming to another decision, and then questioning that conclusion. Truly, this is a masterful, multi-layered work of art.