- Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (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: 121 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #72,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Macbeth Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1 2003
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""Macbeth" is a blast...ghoulish...beguiling...sardonic...an 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"
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—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.
Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare’s Romances and of essays on Shakespeare’s plays and their editing.
Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King’s University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare’s plays.
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Top Customer Reviews
Many people have issues enjoying/reading books that are required for them to read because of school. I rarely have had that issue, because I find that my English teachers are doing a good job with choosing books for the curriculum that people my age would actually enjoy/relate to. Macbeth isn't totally relatable, as we don't live in a period of time where Canada/America has a king or queen, but we always do undergo these phases of greed or jealousy. This tragic play by Shakespeare explores supernatural aspects in the midst of a time setting of royalty and power in Scotland.
"See, see, our honour'd hostess.—The love that follows us sometime is our trouble, which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you how you shall bid God yield us for your pains and thank us for your trouble."
It's a simple yet complex plot. Macbeth is a Thane of Glamis in Scotland, being successful in battle and being known as the courageous man in their land. He has a high reputation, and is admired by King Duncan. After three witches approach Macbeth and his friend Banquo and tell him that he will become Thane of Cawdor, and later King, Macbeth strives to make these prophecies come true. Banquo thinks that the witches were all in their heads, being hallucinations, but Macbeth is naïve enough to know that this is no joke. He murders Duncan, and becomes King, of course, keeping a hidden identity as a murderer/assassin.
Of course, that's the climax moment. As every Shakespearean tragedy, the protagonist (or antagonist, as Macbeth is) undergoes this downfall or deterioration. That was the most interesting part of the play, in my opinion. Although I hated Macbeth's character so much as well as his utter stupidity compared to his kick-ass wife, Lady Macbeth, he was the highlight of the play and I felt that it was very important to pay close attention to his character. I was correct. Throughout the play, even though Shakespeare's use of language is very complex and nuts, compared to your average authors of modern day, or even other playwrights, I was so interested. Thank goodness my teacher did not give my class a pop quiz on who said what line. I would've died of fear.
"What, sir, not yet at rest? The king's abed. He hath been in unusual pleasure and sent forth great largess to your offices. This diamond he greets your wife withal, by the name of most kind hostess, and shut up in measureless content."
Macbeth is not as good as Romeo and Juliet, as I always look forward for some romance in the novels/plays I read, though I really enjoyed it. I felt a tight connection to the characters, and as soon as I realize how much I liked their character, they die. This kind of had the Game of Thrones vibe, I must say. From the start of the play, I had a feeling that I would rate this five stars, but that deteriorated a little in the middle where I couldn't stand Macbeth and his actions. Yes, that was supposed to occur, but it kind of got on my nerves, as intended.
William Shakespeare always knows how to derive his stories from a perfect setting, well mostly because he was fortunate to have been living in that particular time period as well. No author could mix up a perfect play like this and mould such a good setting into it as Shakespeare has. With the ghosts, witches, royalty and different themes, I was in love.
Macbeth has always been known as a classic, but I definitely see why. I ended up writing a comparative essay on this lovely story and you will find inspiration through this, too, even though it is quite predictable. All in all, there are no other stories like this in the whole world, and even if one does pop up, we will know what the original is. Get ready to love-and-hate this as well as one of the most popular antagonists in all of literary history, Lord Macbeth.
This is a good one. So far as I can see, the difference between good and bad eEditions of Shakespeare is first and foremost a question of whether the lines of the poetry have been preserved. Not all editions do this, which leaves the reader with a weird mishmash of paragraphs with capital letters sprinkled throughout the text. This approach - let's call it the Approach of Sloth - leaves a text that's unreadable.
But this text is fine. It's a safe choice.
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. Shakespeare litters the story with brutally intense scenes (Banquo's ghost crashing the dinner, Lady M. trying to scrub her hands clean) and powerful dialogue ("Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,/And look on death itself! up, up, and see/The great doom's image!").
The one flaw: Shakespeare's handling of the "no man born of woman" prediction is a bit lame. I mean, didn't that count as "born" back in Elizabethan times too?
Honestly, MacBeth is both a fascinating and repulsive character. He starts off as a nice ordinary thane with no particular ambition, but his weakness and his wife drive him to some pretty horrible acts. Before long, he's become somebody you desperately want to see diced into little pieces. And Lady Macbeth is little better, although there's a slight disparity between her ruthless ambition and her later insanity.
"MacBeth" is a story filled with stormy darkness and all-consuming fire -- a powerful depiction of evil and how easily we can be seduced. Just don't say its name in the theater.
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