Macbeth (Folger Shakespeare Library Series)

Macbeth (Folger Shakespeare Library Series)

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In 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne, becoming James I of England. London was alive with an interest in all things Scottish, and Shakespeare turned to Scottish history for material. He found a spectacle of violence and stories of traitors advised by witches and wizards, echoing James’s belief in a connection between treason and witchcraft.

In depicting a man who murders to become king, Macbeth teases us with huge questions. Is Macbeth tempted by fate, or by his or his wife’s ambition? Why does their success turn to ashes?

Like other plays, Macbeth speaks to each generation. Its story was once seen as that of a hero who commits an evil act and pays an enormous price. Recently, it has been applied to nations that overreach themselves and to modern alienation. The line is blurred between Macbeth’s evil and his opponents’ good, and there are new attitudes toward both witchcraft and gender.

The authoritative edition of Macbeth from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Newly revised explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
-An up-to-date annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Susan Snyder

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743477109
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 06/24/2003
Series: Folger Shakespeare Library Series
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 4,377
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.

Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare’s Romances and of essays on Shakespeare’s plays and their editing.

Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King’s University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare’s plays.

Date of Death:


Place of Birth:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Place of Death:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Read an Excerpt

Shakespeare's Life

Surviving documents that give us glimpses into the life of William Shakespeare show us a playwright, poet, and actor who grew up in the market town of Stratford-upon-Avon, spent his professional life in London, and returned to Stratford a wealthy landowner. He was born in April 1564, died in April 1616, and is buried inside the chancel of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.

We wish we could know more about the life of the world's greatest dramatist. His plays and poems are testaments to his wide reading — especially to his knowledge of Virgil, Ovid, Plutarch, Holinshed's Chronicles, and the Bible — and to his mastery of the English language, but we can only speculate about his education. We know that the King's New School in Stratford-upon-Avon was considered excellent. The school was one of the English "grammar schools" established to educate young men, primarily in Latin grammar and literature. As in other schools of the time, students began their studies at the age of four or five in the attached "petty school," and there learned to read and write in English, studying primarily the catechism from the Book of Common Prayer. After two years in the petty school, students entered the lower form (grade) of the grammar school, where they began the serious study of Latin grammar and Latin texts that would occupy most of the remainder of their school days. (Several Latin texts that Shakespeare used repeatedly in writing his plays and poems were texts that schoolboys memorized and recited.) Latin comedies were introduced early in the lower form; in the upper form, which the boys entered at age ten or eleven, students wrote their own Latin orations and declamations, studied Latin historians and rhetoricians, and began the study of Greek using the Greek New Testament.

Since the records of the Stratford "grammar school" do not survive, we cannot prove that William Shakespeare attended the school; however, every indication (his father's position as an alderman and bailiff of Stratford, the playwright's own knowledge of the Latin classics, scenes in the plays that recall grammar-school experiences — for example, The Merry Wives of Windsor, 4.1) suggests that he did. We also lack generally accepted documentation about Shakespeare's life after his schooling ended and his professional life in London began. His marriage in 1582 (at age eighteen) to Anne Hathaway and the subsequent births of his daughter Susanna (1583) and the twins Judith and Hamnet (1585) are recorded, but how he supported himself and where he lived are not known. Nor do we know when and why he left Stratford for the London theatrical world, nor how he rose to be the important figure in that world that he had become by the early 1590s.

We do know that by 1592 he had achieved some prominence in London as both an actor and a playwright. In that year was published a book by the playwright Robert Greene attacking an actor who had the audacity to write blank-verse drama and who was "in his own conceit [i.e., opinion] the only Shake-scene in a country." Since Greene's attack includes a parody of a line from one of Shakespeare's early plays, there is little doubt that it is Shakespeare to whom he refers, a "Shake-scene" who had aroused Greene's fury by successfully competing with university-educated dramatists like Greene himself. It was in 1593 that Shakespeare became a published poet. In that year he published his long narrative poem Venus and Adonis; in 1594, he followed it with The Rape of Lucrece. Both poems were dedicated to the young earl of Southampton (Henry Wriothesley), who may have become Shakespeare's patron.

It seems no coincidence that Shakespeare wrote these narrative poems at a time when the theaters were closed because of the plague, a contagious epidemic disease that devastated the population of London. When the theaters reopened in 1594, Shakespeare apparently resumed his double career of actor and playwright and began his long (and seemingly profitable) service as an acting-company shareholder. Records for December of 1594 show him to be a leading member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men. It was this company of actors, later named the King's Men, for whom he would be a principal actor, dramatist, and shareholder for the rest of his career.

So far as we can tell, that career spanned about twenty years. In the 1590s, he wrote his plays on English history as well as several comedies and at least two tragedies (Titus Andronicus and Romeo and Juliet). These histories, comedies, and tragedies are the plays credited to him in 1598 in a work, Palladis Tamia, that in one chapter compares English writers with "Greek, Latin, and Italian Poets." There the author, Francis Meres, claims that Shakespeare is comparable to the Latin dramatists Seneca for tragedy and Plautus for comedy, and calls him "the most excellent in both kinds for the stage." He also names him "Mellifluous and honey-tongued Shakespeare": "I say," writes Meres, "that the Muses would speak with Shakespeare's fine filed phrase, if they would speak English." Since Meres also mentions Shakespeare's "sugared sonnets among his private friends," it is assumed that many of Shakespeare's sonnets (not published until 1609) were also written in the 1590s.

In 1599, Shakespeare's company built a theater for themselves across the river from London, naming it the Globe. The plays that are considered by many to be Shakespeare's major tragedies (Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth) were written while the company was resident in this theater, as were such comedies as Twelfth Night and Measure for Measure. Many of Shakespeare's plays were performed at court (both for Queen Elizabeth I and, after her death in 1603, for King James I), some were presented at the Inns of Court (the residences of London's legal societies), and some were doubtless performed in other towns, at the universities, and at great houses when the King's Men went on tour; otherwise, his plays from 1599 to 1608 were, so far as we know, performed only at the Globe. Between 1608 and 1612, Shakespeare wrote several plays — among them The Winter's Tale and The Tempest — presumably for the company's new indoor Blackfriars theater, though the plays seem to have been performed also at the Globe and at court. Surviving documents describe a performance of The Winter's Tale in 1611 at the Globe, for example, and performances of The Tempest in 1611 and 1613 at the royal palace of Whitehall.

Shakespeare wrote very little after 1612, the year in which he probably wrote King Henry VIII. (It was at a performance of Henry VIII in 1613 that the Globe caught fire and burned to the ground.) Sometime between 1610 and 1613 he seems to have returned to live in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he owned a large house and considerable property, and where his wife and his two daughters and their husbands lived. (His son Hamnet had died in 1596.) During his professional years in London, Shakespeare had presumably derived income from the acting company's profits as well as from his own career as an actor, from the sale of his play manuscripts to the acting company, and, after 1599, from his shares as an owner of the Globe. It was presumably that income, carefully invested in land and other property, which made him the wealthy man that surviving documents show him to have become. It is also assumed that William Shakespeare's growing wealth and reputation played some part in inclining the crown, in 1596, to grant John Shakespeare, William's father, the coat of arms that he had so long sought. William Shakespeare died in Stratford on April 23, 1616 (according to the epitaph carved under his bust in Holy Trinity Church) and was buried on April 25. Seven years after his death, his collected plays were published as Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (the work now known as the First Folio).

The years in which Shakespeare wrote were among the most exciting in English history. Intellectually, the discovery, translation, and printing of Greek and Roman classics were making available a set of works and worldviews that interacted complexly with Christian texts and beliefs. The result was a questioning, a vital intellectual ferment, that provided energy for the period's amazing dramatic and literary output and that fed directly into Shakespeare's plays. The Ghost in Hamlet, for example, is wonderfully complicated in part because he is a figure from Roman tragedy — the spirit of the dead returning to seek revenge — who at the same time inhabits a Christian hell (or purgatory); Hamlet's description of humankind reflects at one moment the Neoplatonic wonderment at mankind ("What a piece of work is a man!") and, at the next, the Christian disparagement of human sinners ("And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?").

As intellectual horizons expanded, so also did geographical and cosmological horizons. New worlds — both North and South America — were explored, and in them were found human beings who lived and worshiped in ways radically different from those of Renaissance Europeans and Englishmen. The universe during these years also seemed to shift and expand. Copernicus had earlier theorized that the earth was not the center of the cosmos but revolved as a planet around the sun. Galileo's telescope, created in 1609, allowed scientists to see that Copernicus had been correct; the universe was not organized with the earth at the center, nor was it so nicely circumscribed as people had, until that time, thought. In terms of expanding horizons, the impact of these discoveries on people's beliefs — religious, scientific, and philosophical — cannot be overstated.

London, too, rapidly expanded and changed during the years (from the early 1590s to around 1610) that Shakespeare lived there. London — the center of England's government, its economy, its royal court, its overseas trade — was, during these years, becoming an exciting metropolis, drawing to it thousands of new citizens every year. Troubled by overcrowding, by poverty, by recurring epidemics of the plague, London was also a mecca for the wealthy and the aristocratic, and for those who sought advancement at court, or power in government or finance or trade. One hears in Shakespeare's plays the voices of London — the struggles for power, the fear of venereal disease, the language of buying and selling. One hears as well the voices of Stratford-upon-Avon — references to the nearby Forest of Arden, to sheepherding, to small-town gossip, to village fairs and markets. Part of the richness of Shakespeare's work is the influence felt there of the various worlds in which he lived: the world of metropolitan London, the world of small-town and rural England, the world of the theater, and the worlds of craftsmen and shepherds.

That Shakespeare inhabited such worlds we know from surviving London and Stratford documents, as well as from the evidence of the plays and poems themselves. From such records we can sketch the dramatist's life. We know from his works that he was a voracious reader. We know from legal and business documents that he was a multifaceted theater man who became a wealthy landowner. We know a bit about his family life and a fair amount about his legal and financial dealings. Most scholars today depend upon such evidence as they draw their picture of the world's greatest playwright. Such, however, has not always been the case. Until the late eighteenth century, the William Shakespeare who lived in most biographies was the creation of legend and tradition. This was the Shakespeare who was supposedly caught poaching deer at Charlecote, the estate of Sir Thomas Lucy close by Stratford; this was the Shakespeare who fled from Sir Thomas's vengeance and made his way in London by taking care of horses outside a playhouse; this was the Shakespeare who reportedly could barely read but whose natural gifts were extraordinary, whose father was a butcher who allowed his gifted son sometimes to help in the butcher shop, where William supposedly killed calves "in a high style," making a speech for the occasion. It was this legendary William Shakespeare whose Falstaff (in 1 and 2 Henry IV) so pleased Queen Elizabeth that she demanded a play about Falstaff in love, and demanded that it be written in fourteen days (hence the existence of The Merry Wives of Windsor). It was this legendary Shakespeare who reached the top of his acting career in the roles of the Ghost in Hamlet and old Adam in As You Like It — and who died of a fever contracted by drinking too hard at "a merry meeting" with the poets Michael Drayton and Ben Jonson. This legendary Shakespeare is a rambunctious, undisciplined man, as attractively "wild" as his plays were seen by earlier generations to be. Unfortunately, there is no trace of evidence to support these wonderful stories.

Perhaps in response to the disreputable Shakespeare of legend — or perhaps in response to the fragmentary and, for some, all-too-ordinary Shakespeare documented by surviving records — some people since the mid-nineteenth century have argued that William Shakespeare could not have written the plays that bear his name. These persons have put forward some dozen names as more likely authors, among them Queen Elizabeth, Sir Francis Bacon, Edward de Vere (earl of Oxford), and Christopher Marlowe. Such attempts to find what for these people is a more believable author of the plays is a tribute to the regard in which the plays are held. Unfortunately for their claims, the documents that exist that provide evidence for the facts of Shakespeare's life tie him inextricably to the body of plays and poems that bear his name. Unlikely as it seems to those who want the works to have been written by an aristocrat, a university graduate, or an "important" person, the plays and poems seem clearly to have been produced by a man from Stratford-upon-Avon with a very good "grammar-school" education and a life of experience in London and in the world of the London theater. How this particular man produced the works that dominate the cultures of much of the world almost four hundred years after his death is one of life's mysteries — and one that will continue to tease our imaginations as we continue to delight in his plays and poems.

Copyright © 2003 by The Folger Shakespeare Library

Customer Reviews

Macbeth 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 394 reviews.
bookanator More than 1 year ago
I loved ithis one . It had stage notes inaddtion to the play. This was the first play I'd read and it is still one of my favorites.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am an English teacher. I don't know how I would have survived without this audio-recording. It is wonderful! Love Lady Macbeth's Scottish accent!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This particular publication of Macbeth is the best thing that's ever happened to my curriculum. I teach this particular Shakespeare play in my sophomore English classes, along with Much Ado About favorite comedy! The fact that the left-hand side of the page contains notes, definitions is invaluable to me as a teacher (saves time from having to explain EVERY SINGLE WORD) and makes the student feel more capable of digesting Shakespeare's language. The introductory notes on Shakespeare's life, the theater, his language, wordplay are all invaluable tools to use in teaching. I now only use this version to teach all Shakespeare plays. Bravo!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my senior English class, we are currently reading this, and I seem to be the only person in the entire class who is enthusiastic. To me, this one from Shakespeare is much more easier to understand. A person may think the withches are evil, but the real villain is the diabolique, Lady Macbeth. Her soliloquies are of absolute brilliance and I love the way she makes Macbeth the way he is. What a sap!
tintoretto More than 1 year ago
This is a steal for $2. It's not the bare-bones edition you'd expect for this price - it gives the reader a generous amount of additional material on the play, as well as historical background on the life and times of Shakespeare. The formatting is excellent, and the annotations are surprisingly thorough for a budget edition. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a senior of a high school and strong emphasis on literature, I have personally read Macbeth and found it to be of great dramatized action. It defines many points to human nature and consequences to evil doings. In addition to the lessons that can be learned from Macbeth, it is great literature. It contains many motifs, symbols, and themes such as the theme of unchecked ambition. This book is great for the strong intellectual to the teen-age ambition to read violent and entertaining text but with actually lessons that can teach and grow in the minds of all young.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great short read.
Fluffyblue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What can you say about Macbeth that's not already been said? I thought I would find it difficult to understand, having not read any Shakespeare before, but it just took a bit of slow reading and thinking about what the meaning might be. I think if you've not read Shakespeare before, this might be a good place to start.
dmsteyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A profoundly affecting play, Macbeth is Shakespeare's darkest tragedy, though perhaps not as nihilistic as the pre-Christian King Lear. Not that Macbeth's Christian era has any considerable redemptive effect on the play. There is Christian imagery throughout the play, of course, but I would contend with critics like Empson and Bloom that Shakespeare was not a particularly Christian playwright. It has hard to say anything about Shakespeare from his plays - he is the least auto-biographical writer in the Western tradition, one might say. He may well have been Christian (perhaps even Roman Catholic, as some have speculated) but I do not think his plays, Macbeth least of all, espouse any overt religious message. One can tack such a message onto Macbeth, if you wish, by investing Macbeth's opponents (young Malcolm, Ross, Macduff, and the other rebellious thanes of Scotland) with the ethos of 'good Christian knights', sent to kill the emissary of evil. But I would contend that this is a misguided misreading of the play. Macbeth may be morally abhorrent, but the play is closer in structure to a Sophoclean tragedy, with the focus nearly entirely on Macbeth, not on the 'avenging Christian heroes'.Bloom contends that Macbeth is extremely horrifying not because of its disturbing imagery and actions:Titus Andronicus is much more bloody, and yet less horrifying than Macbeth, and in any case, playgoers of his time could go to Tyburn to watch bloody executions. Rather, the horror is in Macbeth's extreme interiority and his proleptic imagination, which infects the whole play, as well as those who watch or read the play. Reading Macbeth awakens anxieties in us because it makes us aware of our own propensity and capacity for evil. 'Evil' is, of course, a particularly ambiguous term nowadays, with relativism making such a strong claim to our morality. But, within the confines of world morality, few would claim that Macbeth and his wife's initial ethos of 'the ends justify the means' is not particularly terrible. Even the Macbeths realise the horror of what they have done, though it has diverging effects on the two. In any case, the though that we may be capable of atrocities is uniquely tempting in this play. Macbeth is initially a 'golden boy', though we sense the danger of his propensity for slaughter, even though it is initially in service of the monarch. I never lost my admiration for Macbeth's bravery throughout the play, though I would strongly condemn his actions. It is this dichotomy between centripetal admiration, and a concurrent centrifugal revulsion, which draws one into Macbeth's unique psychology.Lady Macbeth is the only of other strong character in the play - the thanes and Malcolm are colourless in comparison. But she falls away after the beginning of Act III, and the play then focuses on Macbeth to the near-exclusion of everything else. This is unique in a Shakespearean tragedy - even Hamlet has his mother, uncle, and Horatio. Macbeth is left centre-stage, with his famous soliloquy on death ('Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow...'). Though he is killed, we remain strangely uneasy at the end of the play. I think this is because of the above-mentioned identification with Macbeth: we fear our capabilities for evil, but, in a perverse sense, also exult in them. Even more perversely, I felt a distaste for king Malcolm and his easy morality. Perhaps I am merely a misanthropic egoist, always fearing that the 'do-gooding rabble' might come after me as well. All I can say to that is:Stars, hide your fires!Let not light see my black and deep desires.More seriously (well, you judge whether I was serious previously...) is the role of the witches / weird sisters in the play. Do they control Macbeth, planting the seed of murder in his mind? Or has he always had the potential for evil in him? The text is ambiguous about this, but I suspect that Macbeth considers evil long before the witches appear. For instance, they never, ever tell Macbeth
obrien.341 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Obviously, Shakespeare is a poetic genius. This play is beautifully written and contains messages about morality. Although Shakespeare's writing can be sometimes hard to understand, I followed this play very well and found it very entertaining. It is interesting to notice the way that fate plays a huge role in the outcome of the play.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think this is one which needs to be seen. It seemed very slow to me, aside from the bits with murder and ghosts.
athenamilis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Macbeth is a tragic tale of power and corruption. The main character, Macbeth, is persuaded by his wife and supernatural forces to kill the sitting king he serves in order to take the throne himself. To cover up his crime he is forced to kill others including his close friend Banquo. The plot of this story is intense and highly interesting. The inclusion of witches and voices and daggers and the tolling of bells create a level of suspense that may keep young readers on the edge of their seats if they can understand the language. The old English style is often hard for students who use the modern vernacular to understand. In addition, students need to understand that the author wrote this play to be preformed and not read. Therefore, I feel that English language learners as well as struggling readers may have trouble reading this book on their own. It is definitely a play that can be read and acted out as a whole class at the high school level.
Tryion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My all time favorite.
paradox98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not my favorite in any sense. An interesting read. Worth the read for the exposure to Shakespeare's writing. The story itself, however, wasn't as engaging for me personally. Because I read it at 2AM had something to do with it, I'm sure. I'll revisit it, I'm sure.
jacketscoversread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble!¿ {pg. 82}Comprised of five acts, The Tragedy of Macbeth starts as three witches agree to meet up again after a battle is fought. Originally, Macbeth starts off being portrayed as a hero, having led King Duncan¿s forces successfully in battle, and hence will get a new title. The witches flatter his ego by telling him of the titles he will receive - more than he could ever have hoped - and that he will become king, ultimately.From then on, Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth become `evil¿, and pursue the witches¿ prediction, and plot to kill Duncan. They have become greedy from the prediction. The play then follows their corruption, the murders they commit, and their ultimate downfall.I prefer to watch Shakespeare¿s plays rather than read them, especially when they¿re very long. Lucky for me, The Tragedy of Macbeth is one of Shakespeare¿s shortest plays and probably has the easiest message to comprehend-the corrupted nature of power and greed, and the terrible affects it can have. However, The Tragedy of Macbeth is Shakespeare¿s equivalent of a summer blockbuster. Entertaining with lots of action (fight scenes, murder), oddities (witches, ghosts, prophesies, hallucinations, and insanity) but poor character development and nothing intellectual to take from the play.
kaelirenee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's interesting to consider the role fate has in this play. And of course, it helps to have the guides at the bottom of the page that explains some of the texts.
liammurrray on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this play write even after the 1st time reading it a few years earlier. Although much of the language is hard to understand as it is written by Shakespeare in a complete different time period, it expresses an awesome story about the corruption of power. Initially, Macbeth is a character of the most heroic attributes, and his first acts present him as a very noble man. It is sad to see him be brought to his downfall after his wife brings the dark side out of him and herself as well. The corruption of having a great deal of power is presented by this play, and Macbeth is brought to his death because of this pursuit of power. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Shakespeareian plays or the history of the Middle Ages.
mjmbecky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although I'm an English teacher, I have to admit that Macbeth is not one of my personal favorites. Does that mean that the play isn't brilliant? Absolutely not. Shakespeare, once again, exhibits the full range of characteristics and emotions that a human can display. Great play about the way a seemingly good man, can descend into the madness of becoming greedy and a murderer.
06nwingert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
'Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble. By the pricking of the thumbs, something wicked this ways comes.'That just about sums up Macbeth, the epitome of self-fulfilling prophecies and ambition. Macbeth, driven by the witches' prophecy, murders all who stand in his way of power.
the1butterfly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Macbeth is, without a doubt, an awesome play. We read Macbeth sophomore year of high school, and I loved it, but my funniest memory of Macbeth was when some third graders got it in their heads to act out "Macbeth in space". Given that they didn't know the play as well as they thought, I gave them a quick synopsis, and this is some of what they came up with:Macbeth goes up to three (male) witches-"Am I going to be king?""Yes, until the forest moves.""How do you know?""We read it on the internet!"Then Macbeth and the king charge with swords, Macbeth knocks him down, and Lady Macbeth stabs him with a dagger and pretends to wash her hands. Then the trees come and kill Macbeth.They never actually go to outerspace...
shamille on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anyway, Macbeth is a play about this scottish dude and some witches come up to him and they're like "hey Macbeth! You're gonna be king!" and so Macbeth thinks: Ok it's my fate... so i have to make it happen! like a dummy. So he kills the king.. and the princes flee, and Macbeth becomes king! but to keep his secret he has to kill a whole bunch of other people...But Macbeth sucks as a king, and his wife, who was all evil before, is all weak and has gone crazy.Then Macduff (yes another Mac... it's scotland) comes around with the old king's son, Malcolm. And they're like.. "no way man, Malcolm's supposed to be king! Macbeth's a tyrant!" so they pretty much overthrow him.I know i gave it away but i'm just thinking probably everyone knows this story anyway. uhhhmm.....some facts about this story:# It's really funny# When they give this play people aren't allowed to say Macbeth until it's over... it's bad luck# In Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson books, Georgia and her schoolmates are giving the play Macbeth. Since she can't say the name, in her diary (or whatever the hell it is) she calls it MacUseless. Which is funny, because it is.
JeroenBerndsen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantastic editions this is, the play on the right page, and explanations and supprt material on the left. You don't have to read it, but if you come across words you don't understand, It's pretty convenient!The story itself, well that off course has lost nothing of it's magic....
Joles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my absolute favorite plays by Shakespeare. The "Scottish Play" contains the supernatural, riddles and memorable quotes. It is a testament about the times and a warning to those that would deceive others to get what they want. This play is a must read/see!
0912katie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had never thought of reading ¿Macbeth¿, but since I read, Romeo and Juliet at school and at home, I started to like how the structures of Shakespeare poems or plays were set up. What got my attention is the cover of the book because it has a king and a queen, so I thought it had to do with the rich and high-class society. After reading the beginning of the story, I thought Macbeth was a good and loyal man to King Duncan. All of the ¿Great men¿ turned out to be fake because all he wanted was to be king, but there was already a king. Three witches had told him that he was going to be king but he had to kill the king. His ambition led him to killing the king and any witness. His wife thought that killing the king was the quickest way to achieve the destiny the witches promised. Macbeth is duly proclaimed the new king of Scotland, but recalling the witches¿ prophecy, he arranges the murder of his fellow soldiers Banquo and his son Fleance, both of whom represent a threat to his kingship. Fleance escapes but his dad dies. The next day, according to the witches¿ prophecy Macbeth should be aware of an enemy called `not born of woman¿. Macduff allegiances to young Malcolm and Macduff surrounds and kill Macbeth and Malcolm is crowned the King of Scotland. Not a very good ending for the protagonist but he got what he deserved because his ambition to be powerful lead him to the tomb. Finally, I think this is a great book and I recommended to anybody that likes ambition, mystery, witches, and magic. I love this book and I would like to read more Shakespeare books later on.
Hamburgerclan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My daughter has shamed me a bit in recent months. She's been on a Shakespeare kick--purchasing his works here and there from book sales and the like. Me, I've read a couple of plays and seen one or two others on television. I've never got around to reading these treasures of English literature. It was this shame, and the need to find a book that would fit in my lunch box, that led me to check out Shakespeare's Macbeth. 'Tis the tale of a Scottish thane or chieftain who, tempted by a cryptic prophecy, murders his king and tries to cover it up. There is much bloodshed and guilt, all set in iambic pentameter. The story was enjoyable enough, though I have to confess, I read through the synopsis before attempting to tackle the 17th Century English. (This, the Oxford School Shakespeare edition, is chock full of notes to help us poor students along in our studies.) Reading it spoiled the drama, but also helped me follow the story. So anyway, now my own guilt has been assuaged--for the nonce--and I can get back to reading more modern fluff. I don't think the child has procured a copy of Othello yet, anyway.--J.