Macbeth Mass Market Paperback – Apr 1 1998
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"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" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
One of the great Shakespearean tragedies, Macbeth is a dark and bloody drama of ambition, murder, guilt, and revenge. Prompted by the prophecies of three mysterious witches and goaded by his ambitious wife, the Scottish thane Macbeth murders Duncan, King of Scotland, in order to succeed him on the throne. This foul deed soon entangles the conscience-stricken nobleman in a web of treachery, deceit, and more murders, which ultimately spells his doom. Set amid the gloomy castles and lonely heaths of medieval Scotland, Macbeth paints a striking dramatic portrait of a man of honor and integrity destroyed by a fatal character flaw and the tortures of a guilty imagination.
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Top Customer Reviews
Shortly after a victory in battle, Macbeth and his friend Banquo are traveling home across a heath when they encounter three witches -- who greet him with "All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter!"
When MacBeth is made Thane of Cawdor, he naturally begins to think that being king might be next in line. And when King Duncan visits his castle, Lady MacBeth goads her husband into murdering the king and framing a couple of innocent servants for the deed. As the witches predicted, MacBeth becomes king of Scotland.
But the witches also prophesied that Banquo would be the father of kings, so MacBeth starts tying off loose ends by hiring assassins to kill Banquo and his young son, as well as a wily thane named MacDuff and all of his family. But though MacBeth believes himself to be safe from everyone, his fear begins to grow as madness and guilt torment him and his wife...
One of the most fascinating things about "Macbeth" is how evil it is -- mass murder, insanity, bloody ghosts, a trio of manipulative witches pulling MacBeth's strings, and a nice if weak man who becomes a raving murderous paranoiac. Shakespeare starts the story on a dark note, and it gets darker and bloodier as the story winds on to its bleak climax.
In fact, the entire story is a two-part spiral -- things get tighter and more intense, even as MacBeth and Lady M. get crazier and more violent.Read more ›
Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's more ambiguous main characters. Motivation is always a big question with him. Sure, he is hungry for power. Yet he also needs prodding from several quarters to take most of his actions.
Lady Macbeth is really no different. She comes off as eager for evil early on, but is utterly shocked by its repercussions. Her attempt to go against nature leaves her absolutely unhinged and thirsting after guidance--only to find despair. In this regard, Shakespeare anticipates the psychology of Dostoevsky.
Macbeth is also one of Shakespeare's most supernatural plays. Regardless of whether one wants to debate the reality of Banquo's ghost, there are forces at work in Macbeth that are often unseen, but which drive the plot. The witches and all the unnaturalness come up against the forces of nature (the trees) and the divinely appointed King.
The most remarkable thing about this play is, for me at least, that it becomes a true tragedy only in its last moments. Only when all the stuff has hit the fan, and he has realized his doom is eminent, does Macbeth show the courage and nobility of a true tragic hero.
Macbeth is a great place to start if you are new to Shakespeare. It is a fun place to return if you're not.
The play chronicles Macbeth's seizing the Scottish throne and his subsequent downfall, both aspects the result of blind ambition. However, one of the interesting aspects of "Macbeth" for me has always been its take on prophecy, which is decidedly different from the classical tradition. In the Greek myths there is no escaping your fate; in fact, one of the points of the story of Oedipus as told by Sophocles is that trying to resist your fate only makes things worse (the original prophecy was that Oedipus would slay his father; it was only after Jocasta sought to have her son killed to save her husband that the prophecy given Oedipus was that he would slay his father and marry his mother). In the Norse tradition prophecy is simply fate and manhood demands you simply resign yourself to what must happen.
But in "Macbeth" there is a different notion of prophecy that is compatible with what is found in the Bible: specifically, the idea that human beings simply cannot understand God's predictions.Read more ›
To Sum it all up:
Long complicated story, but Macbeth is forced by his wife, Lady Macbeth to kill his king, Duncan, so he will be king. She believes this will be true because of a prophecy that Macbeth would be Thane of Cawdor, then King. Macbeth, lo and behold is made Thane of Cawdor. After he kills the king, he blames it on Duncans sons, malcom and Donaldsbane. Sohortly after, macbeth is made kig and hires these murderers to kill his best friend Banquo and his son Flayonce, because according to the witches, Banquo will have a long line a kings. So they kill banquo, but Flayonce gets away. Macbeth, meanwhile, sees Banquos ghost at his party and goes insane.
Macduff goes to get Malcolm to come back to be king and Malcolm says:
a.) I need sex
b.) I need Moolah
c.) I'm an all around bad person
But he's testing Macduff to see if Macduff trust him.
Macbeth, meanwhile, has heard from the witches he can be killed of no man born of a women and his house will not fall until the forest marches against it. He then sends for Macduffs family to be killed. They are all killed (Lady Macduff, Macduff Jr., the otherkids and servants).
Lady macbeth sees the blood on her hands and kills herself. Her consience finally caught up with her.
Macduff and Malcolm disquise themselves and their army as trees and start walking towards Macbeths house so it looks like *GASP* the forest is marching against his house. But Macbeth knows he's immortal, so he kills lots o' people, and then sees Macduff.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Macbeth by the great William Shakespeare is such a stupid book, when you really think about it. I remember being young, asking my parents who Shakespeare is, and later asking if... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michelle @ A Thousand Lives Lived
Fast shipping and fantastic layout of the book, very easy to understandPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I'm not rating Macbeth, of course. It's a great play. What I'm rating is this edition of the text.
This is a good one. Read more
Even though the text in this particular book is available online, this side by side Elizabethan English and modern English translation of Macbeth is well worth owning. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mr. Sky
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