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Main page » Fiction literature » Graded Readers » Macbeth



William Shakespeare, "Macbeth" (The New Cambridge Shakespeare)
This is the most extensively annotated edition of Macbeth currently available, offering a thorough reconsideration of one of Shakespeare's most popular plays.

A full and accessible introduction studies the immediate theatrical and political contexts of Macbeth's composition, especially the Gunpowder Plot and the contemporary account of an early performance at the Globe. It treats such celebrated issues as whether the Witches compel Macbeth to murder; whether Lady Macbeth is herself in some sense a witch; whether Banquo is Macbeth's accomplice in crime; and what criticism is levelled against Macduff. A well-illustrated account of the play in performance examines several cinematic versions, such as those by Kurosawa and Roman Polanski, and other dramatic adaptations.

Several possible new sources are suggested, and the presence of Thomas Middleton's writing in the play is proposed. Appendixes contain additional text and accompanying music.

An international team of scholars offers:
  • modernized, easily accessible texts
  • ample commentary and introductions
  • attention to the theatrical qualities of each play and its stage history
  • informative illustrations

List of Illustrations
Abbreviations and Conventions

 Macbeth in legend, Macbeth in history
  Topical Macbeth
  Occasional Macbeth
 Macbeth in the mind
  Succession, time, and families
  Master of his time: 'doubly redoubled strokes'
  Prospect of belief: witches, women, and mediated knowledge
  'What do you mean?': the languages of Macbeth
 Macbeth in performance
  Performance and adaptation before 1800
  Later stagings and versions
  Further variations: Kurosawa, Polanski, Ninagawa
 Macbeth in the mind and in performance: Act 4, Scene 3
Map: Scotland, showing place names mentioned in the text of Macbeth
Note on the text
Note on the Commentary
List of characters

The Play

Supplementary notes
Textual analysis
 General editorial procedures
 Copy for the Folio
 Scene division in the Folio
 Compositors and the printing of the Folio
 Lineation in the Folio
 Thomas Middleton's contribution to the Folio
 Revision in the Folio
Appendix 1: Casting Macbeth
Appendix 2: Additional text and music
Appendix 3: Relineation of the Folio
Reading list

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