by William Shakespeare

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When the Three Witches prophesy that Macbeth, a Scottish general, will become king, they unleash a series of events that prove tragic for all involved. Spurred by ambition, Macbeth and his ruthless Lady will stop at nothing, including murder, to make the throne theirs. Beginning with the murder of King Duncan and culminating with Lady Macbeth's descent into madness and Macbeth's final clash with Macduff, Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare's greatest dramatic works.

Known as "The Bard of Avon," William Shakespeare is arguably the greatest English-language writer known. Enormously popular during his life, Shakespeare's works continue to resonate more than three centuries after his death, as has his influence on theatre and literature. Shakespeare's innovative use of character, language, and experimentation with romance as tragedy served as a foundation for later playwrights and dramatists, and some of his most famous lines of dialogue have become part of everyday speech.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9788826048543
Publisher: William Shakespeare
Publication date: 04/11/2017
Sold by: StreetLib SRL
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 102,542
File size: 444 KB

About the Author

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born to John Shakespeare and mother Mary Arden some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote about 38 plays (the precise number is uncertain), a collection of sonnets and a variety of other poems.

Stanley Wells is Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham and Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
Carol Rutter teaches English And Comparative Literature and is Co-Director of Graduate Studies at the Centre for Renaissance Studies at Warwick University. Her publications include Enter the Body: Women and Representation on Shakespeare's Stage and Documents of the Rose Playhouse (MUP, 1999).
George K Hunter is Emily Sanford Professor of English Emeritus at Yale University. His books include John Lyly: The Humanist as Courtier, Dramatic Identities and Cultural Tradition, English Drama 1586-1642: the Age of Shakespeare (Oxford History of English Literature Vol.6).

William Shakespeare was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote about 38 plays (the precise number is uncertain), many of which are regarded as the most exceptional works of drama ever produced, including Romeo and Juliet (1595), Henry V (1599), Hamlet (1601), Othello (1604), King Lear (1606) and Macbeth (1606), as well as a collection of 154 sonnets, which number among the most profound and influential love poetry in English. Shakespeare died in Stratford in 1616.

Date of Death:


Place of Birth:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Place of Death:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

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Dramatis Personae

Excerpted from "Macbeth"
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Copyright © 2016 William Shakespeare.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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Table of Contents

Macbeth - William Shakespeare - Edited by Sylvan Barnet Samuel Johnson: Macbeth
A. C. Bradley: From Shakespearean Tragedy
Elmer Edgar Stoll: Source and Motive in 'Macbeth' and 'Othello'
Cleanth Brooks: The Naked Babe and the Cloak of Manliness
Mary MacCarthy: General Macbeth
Joan Larsen Klein: Lady Macbeth: 'Infirm of Purpose'
Sylvan Barnet: 'Macbeth' on the Stage and Screen

Alan Sinfield: 'Macbeth': History, Ideology, and Intellectuals

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Macbeth is a expression of how captivating an evening of crackling Shakespeare can be." — Peter Marks, The Washington Post

"The explosive and overwhelming effect of a truck bomb...this horrific, riveting Macbeth ought to be seen by as many people as possible." — Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal


"Macbeth is a expression of how captivating an evening of crackling Shakespeare can be." — Peter Marks, The Washington Post

"The explosive and overwhelming effect of a truck bomb...this horrific, riveting Macbeth ought to be seen by as many people as possible." — Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal

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.