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Macbeth [Hardcover]

William Shakespeare
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2011 Collector's Library
Dark and violent, Macbeth is also the most theatrically spectacular of Shakespeare's tragedies. Promised a golden future as ruler of Scotland by three sinister witches, Macbeth murders the king to ensure his ambitions come true. But he soon learns the meaning of terror-killing once, he must kill again and again, and the dead return to haunt him. A story of war, witchcraft, and bloodshed, Macbeth also depicts the relationship between husbands and wives, and the risks they are prepared to take to achieve their desires. Macbeth is one of the last of Shakespeare's great tragedies, and is certainly one of his most disturbing. The insights it affords and the aura of evil that pervades it (it even has its own curse), means that "The Scottish Play" stands out luridly even among Shakespeare's blackest tragic brood.
 

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Product Description

From Amazon

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, ‘Hermia...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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
The Tragedie of Macbeth was first published in the First Folio of 1623, seven years after Shakespeare's death, and seventeen years after the play was first performed. Read the first page
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Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts on Macbeth June 10 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Macbeth is the story of a general in the army of King Duncan of Scotland, who is approached by three witches, who plant the seeds of ruthless ambition in his mind, by predicting that he will be made King of Scotland.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Individual Edition April 22 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
When I first saw this copy of Macbeth, I was amazed--it wassothick that it looked more like a novel than a play. The reason forthis is 100 pages of introductory essays plus footnotes more thorough than most people would ever want. The introduction also has some very nice pictures, and the essays are insightful and the product of hideously scrupulous scholarship. The margins are slightly larger than average, allowing sufficient room for notes of your own (and it doesn't have that horrible newsprint-quality paper that makes it impossible to write on, like the Folger Shakespeare does). The only disadvantage to this edition is that...only about a third or so of the plays available from the New Cambridge Shakespeare, that it would be quite... impractical to use their texts for all your Shakespearean needs. However, for the student who needs a compact copy of the play to take to class, the New Cambridge Shakespeare is the best I've seen. (Of course, I haven't seen the Arden editions, which are also supposed to be very good.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rapt Withal Jan. 21 2000
By oh_pete
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Shakespeare's shortest and bloodiest tragedy, MACBETH is also possibly the most serious. Macbeth is a warrior who has just had his greatest victory, but his own "vaulting ambition," the spectral promises of the three weird sisters, and the spurring on of his wife drive him to a treason and miserable destruction for which he himself is completely responsible. The ominous imagery of the fog that hovers over the first scene of the play symbolizes the entire setting of the play. Shakespeare's repeated contrasts of such concepts as fair and foul, light and darkness, bravery and cowardice, cut us to the quick at every turn. MACBETH forces us to question "what is natural?" "what is honor?" and "Is life really 'a tale/ Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/ Signifying nothing?'" Few plays have ever illustrated the torments of guilt (especially how it deprives one of sleep) so vividly and stirringly.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, nice margin notes Oct. 10 2002
Format:Paperback
This version basically served all of my needs. For those who are reading this for a class, don't expect a Cliff-Notes, but then it doesn't leave you stranded either. The margin notes are contiguous from Chapter and Act to Chapter and Act, allowing you to read it from cover to cover or over the course of days and still have a clear understanding of the metaphors and other figurative language present in the play. The extra materials were also worth looking at. The beginning gives you a good jumping off point if this is your first dabble at Shakespeare, but has some information my teacher didn't even know about! The section at the end of the book is filled with teacher materials such as study notes, re-caps, guidlines and the like. NB: the margin translations are very specific and very helpful if you are not accustomed to reading the Bard's works.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Macbeth explained, and then some
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 more
Published 2 months ago by Chere Schwindt
3.0 out of 5 stars Second Series Arden
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 9 months ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars The lust for illegitimate power
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 more
Published on Sept. 4 2003 by Guillermo Maynez
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Read
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 more
Published on Sept. 19 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Mi favorito
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 more
Published on June 6 2001 by "sillysparkles"
4.0 out of 5 stars Good edition to act from
These comments are primarily about the New Penguin Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', rather than the play proper. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2001 by James R. Mccall
5.0 out of 5 stars Macbeth
a tragic story of death and betrail. A great play to watch, read, and perform. Read this play!
Published on Aug. 7 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Macbeth is the precursor for many modern-day stories
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 more
Published on March 10 2000 by Mike Kushnir
5.0 out of 5 stars A Shakespeare play that is actually worthy of his reputation
A disillusioned warrior is sick and tired of life and says Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time, and... Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2000
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