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Macbeth Paperback – Mar 1 2005
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One of Shakespeare's greatest, but also bloodiest tragedies, was written around 1605/06. Many have seen the story of Macbeth's murder and usurpation of the legitimate Scottish King Duncan as having obvious connection to contemporary issues regarding King James I (James VI of Scotland), and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. King James was particularly fascinated with witchcraft, so the appearance of the witches chanting "Fair is foul, and foul is fair" at the opening of the play seemed particularly topical, as was Macbeth's betrayal of Banquo, from whom James claimed direct descent.
However, the play is clearly far more than a piece of royal entertainment. It is also a fast-moving and dramatically satisfying piece of theatre. Macbeth's existential struggle between loyalty to his King and his "Vaulting ambition" is fascinating to watch, as his is struggle with Lady Macbeth, and her own terrifying refusal of her maternal role. The play shows an intensification of Shakespeare's interest in mothers and their effect upon ruling masculinity, and also contains some of the most memorable speeches in the entire canon, including Macbeth's reflections that ultimately life "is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing". --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up–Each book includes a brief introduction to the play, followed by an illustrated cast of characters and a glossary of literary terms. Annotated text from the play alternates with black-and-white illustrations of selected scenes, in the style of a graphic novel. It is unclear why the editors did not make these true graphic novels throughout. The black-and-white comic art is undistinguished, and as most of it simply depicts two characters in conversation, it does little to clarify what is going on. The first two plays in particular offer marvelous possibilities for the illustrator, so the ho-hum comics are disappointing. Think about it boxes contain study questions such as, What has worried Macbeth? and boxed Literary terms give examples like, âHermia...Hermia...Helena...' is...alliteration. Teacher's guides accompany the books. Those interested in a graphic-novel interpretation might want to consider Arthur Byron Cover's Macbeth (Puffin, 2005), which is illustrated in manga style and would probably appeal more to reluctant readers. These titles might be useful for teaching Shakespeare to reluctant readers, but a better choice might be a simple annotated Shakespeare such as a Sparknotes No Fear Shakespeare series (Spark), supplemented by Bruce Coville's William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1999) and William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (2003, both Penguin), which are picture-book prose adaptations, or Adam McKeown's Romeo and Juliet: Young Reader's Shakespeare (Sterling, 2004).–Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
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Top Customer Reviews
He invites King Duncan to his castle, where encouraged by his, wife, he murders him.
He manipulates events to become King, and embarks on a reign of bloody tyranny, having all killed who stand in his way, or who he suspects may do so.
Macbeth is the story of tyranny and ambition. It is also the story of inner struggles and of Macbeth's own diseased imagination.
The primary villains of the play are the three witches. They do not simply predict, but indeed their soul aim is to sow evil and destruction wherever they can: " Fair is foul and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air."
Their motto seems to be an apt encapsulation of the dominant 21st century worldview. Indeed Orwell and Kafka where to predict a similar world where truth would be lies and lies would be truth, good would be evil and evil would be good, war would be peace and peace would be war. This twisted view of the witches is the worldview of Bolshevism and leftism today, where terrorists and dictators are lauded as 'revolutionary heroes' and those who defend against the former are vilified and reviled.
The three witches of today are academia, the media and the United Nations.
Lady Macbeth is but a pale shadow of the witches. She encourages her husband in his evil, but is destroyed by her own guilt.
She needs to call on the evil spirits to 'unsex' her and fill her with the direst cruelty, but at the end 'all the perfumes of Arabia' cannot wash away the guilt of her deeds.Read more ›
I have read this play curiously as a child, excitedly as a teenager, passionately as college student, and lovingly as an adult and graduate student. Like all of Shakespeare's work, it is still as fresh, and foreboding, and marvelous as ever. As a play it is first meant to be heard (cf. Hamlet says "we shall hear a play"), secondarily to be seen (which it must be), but, ah, the rich rewards of reading it at one's own pace are hard to surpass. Shakespeare is far more than just an entertainer: he is the supreme artist of the English language.
Most recent customer reviews
I have read "The Scottish Play," a few times, but wanted a Kindle version. This was a great choice. Included with the play, are papers explaining different aspects, vocabulary and... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Chere Schwindt
This is second series Arden and notes are not as complete or interesting as I expect to find when third series Macbeth is published.Published on Nov. 7 2013 by John
This is one of Shakespeare's plays I have liked best so far (I still have several ones left to read), along with Hamlet, King Lear and Julius Caesar. Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2003 by Guillermo Maynez
Oxford's Macbeth was hard to read although foot notes were supplied. The language don't make sense and therefore is hard to make any sense of the story. Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2002
This play is my favorite of all the Shakespeare plays I have read, which is only 5 or so, but still, I love it. Read morePublished on June 6 2001
These comments are primarily about the New Penguin Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', rather than the play proper. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2001 by James R. Mccall
a tragic story of death and betrail. A great play to watch, read, and perform. Read this play!Published on Aug. 7 2000
I read Macbeth a little while ago, and realized that it mirrored modern-day life a little too well. We have all known a Macbeth, who backstabs Banquo at the height of his power, or... Read morePublished on March 10 2000 by Mike Kushnir