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Macbeth Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Folger Edition edition (July 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743477103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743477109
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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"

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—their older daughter Susanna and the twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent, not in Stratford, but in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright, but as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Sometime between 1610 and 1613, Shakespeare is thought to have retired from the stage and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616.

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Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches. Read the first page
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A handy little paperback pocket edition of the great play you've read and seen many times. The 1994 Penguin Popular Classic edition is interesting because it includes twenty-two pages of introductory material about Shakespeare, his times, and the play itself, all written by an unnamed editor who uses the first-person and discusses editorial choices made in this version. The editor emphasizes the fact that there are weaknesses and holes in the text, caused by Shakespeare's writing on a short deadline in 1606 and by the fact that later editors and actors and compilers probably cut-and-pasted large sections. The result, counsels the editor, is that some scenes (including Hecat's speech in III-v, and the witches' appearance in IV-i) is "probably not by Shakespeare".
This is rather a large leap. It may be true, but we have no way to know for sure. Other credible scholars (Levi, Bloom) note that these sections are unique, but do not aver that they are not by Shakespeare. In any event, it is rather interesting that this editor devotes so much space to this notion, and misses the opportunity to discuss other --more important-- elements of the play, such as the subtle poetry of Macbeth's speeches, the "post-Christian" religious significance, the blood-darkness-water themes, the parallels to Lear, or the political connections between Scottish Thanes and British Earls.
Another quibble is with the notes: all the text notes and vocabulary are at the end of the book, so an interested reader is constantly riffling back and forth. Penguin should have followed Folger's admirable lead and put the text notes on the same pages as the text itself.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a fan of Shakespeare, and I have a lot more reading to do until I've completed all his works. However, I have to say out of the plays I have read, Macbeth is one of my least favorite. I feel like you know almost everything that is going to happen after the three witches appear. I understand the themes, but sometimes I feel like they are so blatant, and hardly masked by the characters and the rest of the story. I think people should read Macbeth, but I don't think it's his best work.
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By A Customer on Sept. 16 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Macbeth is the original Scarface. A man murders his way to the top and loses his mind and his loved ones in the process. Shakespeare at his best!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 58 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Masterpiece "To the last syllable of recorded time." April 10 2005
By CJ Mackelvane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Macbeth" comes out as one of William Shakespeare's darkest and murkiest plays, most likely as a result of being written during one of Shakespeare's darkest times in his own life. This play strays away from the more common Shakespearean formula that contains a hero and his demise resulting from a specific tragic flaw. In "MacBeth", the title character is not a hero, but rather a villian. MacBeth murders the king of Scotland to bring truth to a prophecy given to him by three witches (the famous "toil and trouble" sisters). After assuming the throne, MacBeth returns to the witches and requests to hear the circumstances of his own death. The witches tell MacBeth he cannot be killed by any "man of woman born." Under a false assumption of near immortality, MacBeth relaxes his gaurd and perhaps displays his own tragic flaw of over confidence.

Focusing on the power corrupt and merciless villain MacBeth and his dastardly and influential wife Lady MacBeth, this play works as a twisted look into a mind poisioned with greed and hate. Though pessimistic and disturbing, this play must not be dismissed. It contains some of the most poetic language and beautiful lines ever to be written. It is no mystery that MacBeth stands as one of the most quoted works in literature. It is however a mystery that Shakespeare could create something so magnificient in a period when he saw life as "...a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Macbeth does murder sleep... Dec 9 2010
By Rodolfo Lazo de la Vega - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Macbeth" is Shakespeare's most compact and perfectly constructed play. It's wordplay, emphasis on 'equivocation,' 'manhood,' and on 'murdered sleep' are interwoven into a rich tapestry of architectonic poetry and psychological insight dazzling even for its author. The dramatic work it most closely resembles in this regard is Sophocles' "Oedipus Tyrannus," which the poet most likely studied closely in Latin translation. Sigmund Freud thought that the central motif of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" was "the curse of childlessness." Unable to have children, Macbeth murders them. Lady Macbeth tells us that she has "given suck, and know how tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me." Yet when the heroic MacDuff is confronted with the loss of his wife and children his only explanation for the enormity of the crime is to say of Macbeth, "He has no children." We must thus assume that Lady Macbeth's child was from a previous marriage (this accords with Shakespeare's historical sources) and that the witches' prophecy about Banquo's succession has confirmed for him that Fate has indeed placed upon his head a "fruiltess crown" and into his hand "a barren scepter." The relationship between Macbeth and wife is one of the most intriguing, loving, yet dreadful in Shakespeare and the psychic evolution of the two as they drift apart is striking for how unforeseen yet truthful it strikes us. The hitherto strong-willed Lady Macbeth collapses with guilt while the weak-willed Macbeth, by his attempts to reclaim his masculinity through the achievement of power, becomes so bloodthirsty that he almost tames and thoroughly familiarizes himself with the dark powers that consume his unprepared wife.

Macbeth's soliloquies rival Othello's as the most powerful poetry Shakespeare has ever placed into the mouth of one of his characters. The entire work is a stunning poem. Among my favorite lines are Macbeth's haughty salutation of the witches, "How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags!," his "Tomorrow and tomorrow" speech and the Sophoclean

"Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red."

"Macbeth" greatly rewards many re-readings and stands alongside "Oedipus Tyrannus," "King Lear," "Prometheus Bound" and "Othello" as one of the half-dozen great plays. It is a psychologically powerful work about evil, how a destructive action injures in the attempt to soothe, and the desires born of one's own weaknesses to obliterate the presence of others in order to make room for oneself. The New Folger Library edition is strongly recommended.
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Yale's may be the best edition of Macbeth Dec 30 2005
By kaream - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Virtually all editions of Macbeth will have at least some annotations. Rummaging through five different editions, I preferred the Yale University Press version, edited by Burton Raffel, as having the most comprehensive and comprehensible notes, as well as an excellent introduction to Shakespeare's play. Raffel not only explains the meanings of obscure words, but also gives brief notes pertaining to relevant history, geography, stage directions, etc, that are rarely addressed as fully by other editors. In addition, Raffel frequently gives the proper way to stress the syllables in a line when reading it aloud, which can be extremely helpful. (However, in most places these stresses need to be very subtle, so that you don't sound like "taDUM taDUM taDUM".) And Yale's page layout is among the clearest that I've seen.

(To find this edition: at Avanced Search, enter ISBN 0300106548; or, enter Macbeth as title, and either Raffel as author or Yale as publisher.)

As a bonus, this edition includes at the back a long essay on the play by Harold Bloom. This is not an uninteresting commentary, but Bloom desperately needs a good editor. His essay is not only at least three times longer than it should be, but is startlingly repetitious. Yale would have been wise to have asked Bloom for a rewrite.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Macbeth, The Selfish One. Jan. 8 2014
By Bridget Wood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Shakespeare surprises me again with another one of his classics, Macbeth. The story takes place in Scotland, ruled by the Scottish King Duncan. Macbeth, the main character of the play, and Banquo are the Kings generals. They were very successful with defeated two armies, one from Ireland and one from Norway. The king praised his brave generals, but that was enough for Macbeth. He wanted to be king. So he sets his mind to do so. Macbeth is not the only one who wants him to be in power. Lady Macbeth, being his wife wanting the wealth and attention, has the same dream. A dream to have King Duncan murdered. Macbeth stabs Duncan in his sleep, but plan to blame it on the chamberlains. But how do they do it? By getting the chamberlains drunk, so when they wake up the next morning, their memory would be gone. Giving Macbeth the right to assume the kingship. But there is still an obstacle in the way. Banquo is just as worthy to become king as Macbeth is. So what does Macbeth presume to do? He hires three murders to kill Banquo to assure he becomes the king of Scotland. The murders were also ordered to kill Banquo son, Fleance, but he escapes into the night before they could reach him. Macbeth’s rage grows inside, as he is still afraid his kingship is in danger. The Macduff and Prince Malcom, family of King Duncan, finds out about Macbeth’s whereabouts from Fleance, they want to challenge Macbeth’s forces. Macduff and Prince Malcom’s forces were much stronger against Macbeth’s. Macduff approached Macbeth, then proceeds to kill and then behead Macbeth, giving the power over to the Prince. Shakespeare gives us examples of tragedy throughout this whole play. Macbeth showed selfishness and greed, giving us a life lesson to appreciate the things we have and have to come to us in the future.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Another great rendition from Folger Dec 4 2011
By J. Lynn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Shakespeare is undoubtedly a master with language, and Folger Library does another excellent job of explaining the nuances of Macbeth to the normal person. Macbeth is an intense play, and Folger's edition captures all of the darkness and mysterious violence that shrouds the title character and his wife. I had no trouble at all understanding what Shakespeare meant through the page by page annotations.

There's also a well-written intro on Shakespeare's life and his language in Macbeth, which is indispensible for a thorough understanding of the context surrounding the play. The concluding section, "A Modern Perspective," also clarifies a lot of the internal conflict within the play as well as presents a great analysis of the opposing forces and people.

A minor irritant, though, is that the page number in this edition is on the inside of the page, near the binding. It's a little bit more difficult to see with a new book. Everything else, though, is perfect. And something that I particularly like--the cover art is nice to look at. Overall, Folger Library has again successfully annotated and published another Shakespeare play.


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