The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Book - 2013
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In 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne, becoming James I of England. London was alive with an interest in all things Scottish, and Shakespeare turned to Scottish history for material. He found a spectacle of violence and stories of traitors advised by witches and wizards, echoing James's belief in a connection between treason and witchcraft.

In depicting a man who murders to become king, Macbeth teases us with huge questions. Is Macbeth tempted by fate, or by his or his wife's ambition? Why does their success turn to ashes?

Like other plays, Macbeth speaks to each generation. Its story was once seen as that of a hero who commits an evil act and pays an enormous price. Recently, it has been applied to nations that overreach themselves and to modern alienation. The line is blurred between Macbeth's evil and his opponents' good, and there are new attitudes toward both witchcraft and gender.

The authoritative edition of Macbeth from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Newly revised explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play's famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books
-An up-to-date annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Susan Snyder

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.
Publisher: New York : London ; Toronto ; Sydney ; New Delhi : Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2013
Edition: Updated edition
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780743477109
0743477103
Branch Call Number: 822.33 S3mw 2013
Characteristics: liv, 249 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm
Additional Contributors: Mowat, Barbara A.
Werstine, Paul
Alternative Title: Macbeth

Opinion

From Library Staff

Shakespeare tackles this age old question: What will you do to get what you want?


From the critics


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t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
May 02, 2017

Personally, I find that Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most exciting and gripping plays. The fact that it is also short is beneficial for somebody who does not like to read very long texts or does not have much time to read in general. Since the vocabulary is somewhat confusing, No Fear Shakespeare can be very helpful for comprehension. If you research the history of the story of Macbeth and the reason behind why Shakespeare has written it this way, as well as the history of witches in that era, you will find the play to be even more intriguing than it already is.
- @reginaphalange of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

w
Waldenpond2
Jun 02, 2016

This is not my personal favorite. The characters seem weak, the plot has gaps, and compared to other classics like Hamlet, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet, the entire story arc of Macbeth is not as polished.

b
britprincess1ajax
Apr 11, 2016

I read MACBETH (the shortest of the Bard's plays) on Shakespeare Day and I don't regret it. For anyone starting Shakespeare, I recommend it as a nice jumping off point.

k
kyky69
Dec 22, 2015

Shakespeare at his best.

m
MARIA95
Sep 07, 2015

Shakespearean plays are so beautiful and unforgettable. There is something about the character of Macbeth that makes this piece in particular stay in my head. Maybe it is the lesson that your ambitions can be fatal .

s
snowdreams21
Jul 06, 2015

An amazing read for anyone who loves fantasy!

l
lisamarie99
Jul 01, 2015

This book has a lot of plot going on and can be closely connected to Romeo and Juliet. It is a story about identity and trust. As in all Shakespeare books, there is a prominent moral at the end of the story.

d
DaisyCosh
May 19, 2015

Written in 1606, "The Tragedy of Macbeth" follows the story of a Scottish noble soldier named -- you guessed it! -- Macbeth. The story starts after a battle between Scotland and Norway in which Macbeth killed so many that he single-handedly won the war. King Duncan of Scotland gladly gives Macbeth a fancy title as the new Thane of Cawdor. However, when Macbeth hears a prophecy that he is destined to be king, his ambition takes over. With the help of his calculating wife, Macbeth does what it takes to live the life he wants, but for how long will it last? With Macbeth constantly being challenged by new foes, will he continue to reign or will he fall from the throne? You'll have to read it to find out. Like many of Shakespeare's plays, there are elements of history entrenched in the plot. The royal family was not without fault in the early seventeenth century, so Shakespeare took aim. History buffs will enjoy the nod to the witch-hunting traits of King James I of England (formerly James VI of Scotland) in "Macbeth". Furthermore, pay close attention to the final act, especially the character of Malcolm. The reflection of Duncan in his own son says more about the nature of the monarchy than if Shakespeare had outright screamed it onstage. It's tongue in cheek, but telling nonetheless. Rich with symbolism beyond the obvious, "Macbeth" is still a great read for those who don't give a flying fig about historical accuracy. It has a strong story that reads like a cautionary tale against greed. The Three Weird Sisters plant the seed, but never explicitly tell Macbeth to slaughter his way to the top. That's just one of the many aspects of "Macbeth" that I enjoyed. The bloodiness will appeal to those who like the "Song of Ice and Fire" series, while the manipulative nature of Lady Macbeth comes off like the latest installment in the "Gossip Girl" series. There's really something for everyone. Plus, it's brief, the shortest of Shakespeare's plays -- it tells a great story quickly rather than dragging it out until it becomes dull and flimsy. The language isn't difficult to understand with a little practice, but this Folger Shakespeare Library edition offers such detailed modern English translations page for page that even those who struggle with it can understand the Bard's point. My main complaint? The final act felt rushed, jumping from convenient death to convenient death to tie up loose ends. Other than that, I genuinely enjoyed Shakespeare's "Macbeth" and recommend this particular edition for its great translations and supplements.

c
chrisalihosseini
Feb 11, 2015

This book was f***ing AWFUL.

l
lexie2000
Feb 05, 2013

Graet book

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Quotes

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z
zaina_a
Jun 21, 2016

"When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly 's done, When the battle 's lost and won."

s
snowdreams21
Jul 06, 2015

"Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air. "(1.1.12-13)

j
jokafor98
Jun 20, 2014

"Why should I play the Roman fool and die on mine own sword? Whiles I see lives, the gashes do better upon them."
- Macbeth in Act 5 Scene 8 on lines 1-3

j
jokafor98
Jun 20, 2014

"Why should I play the Roman fool and die on mine own sword? Whiles I see lives, the gashes do better upon them."
- Macbeth in Act 5 Scene 8 on lines 1-3

l
ladytigressa
Jun 13, 2008

Nought's had, all's spent,
Where our desire is got without content.

Age

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a
Alanreviews
Nov 20, 2016

Alanreviews thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 99

j
Jwalker_11
Jul 08, 2015

Jwalker_11 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

amysueoreilly Apr 27, 2012

amysueoreilly thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Summary

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9
9Teagan27
Jul 05, 2016

Macbeth is a place about a Scottish soldier named Macbeth and his friend Banquo who are met by three strange witches bearing prophetic greetings. Macbeth is told that,among other titles, he will become king(if). The rest of the play follows a once true and loyal soldier as he goes into the depths of darkness and despair as he seeks the crown regardless of the consequences(because of prophetic nonsense).

s
snowdreams21
Jul 06, 2015

The play begins with the appearance of 3 witches who tell others of their future. Meanwhile The king's generals, Macbeth and Banquo fight in a battle for their King Duncan. Eventually after the battle, Macbeth is prophesized to be the future King and Banquo as the father of many Kings by the witches. Out of greed, Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth plan to kill King Duncan in order to gain the throne. Many of the decisions Macbeth makes continues the play.

j
jokafor98
Jun 09, 2014

Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a novel that depicts the life of a man named Macbeth who is given a prophecy that sets him on a path he cannot escape. He is given the prophecy that he will become king by three witches. He is overcome by this prophecy and does a terrible deed to expedite the process. That action he took set him on a path of no return filled with sorrow and sadness.

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