It’s one of the most famous lines in all of theatre, from Act three, Scene one, of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
You’re listening to Sir John Gielgud in his 1948 portrayal of the original Dark Knight. He, Ralph Richardson, and Laurence Olivier made up the famous “Triumvirate” that dominated British theater from the nineteen thirties through the nineteen sixties. Along with Olivier, Gielgud is recognized as one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of all time. During his nearly 70 year career, he played every major male role the Bard ever wrote.
He was particularly well-known for his exquisite speaking voice. Alec Guinness seemed to like it, comparing it once to a “a silver trumpet muffled in silk”.
David Tennant of, Dr. Who and Harry Potter fame, played a critically-praised Hamlet on London’s West End in April 2010. Want to watch the play in its entirety? Just click here!