Cover image for Macbeth
Title:
Macbeth
ISBN:
9780812969160
Edition:
2009 Modern Library pbk. ed.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Modern Library, 2009.
Physical Description:
xxviii, 190 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.
Series:
Contents:
What is tragedy? -- The King's play -- The Weyard sisters -- How many children? -- The word incarnadine -- About the text -- Key facts -- The tragedy of Macbeth -- The songs -- Textual notes -- Scene-by-scene analysis -- Macbeth in performance: the RSC and beyond -- Shakespeare's career in theater -- Shakespeare's works: a chronology -- The history behind the tragedies: a chronology.
Added Corporate Author:
Summary:
William Shakespeare's classic tragedy about Macbeth and his wife, who plot to kill the king and his heirs in order to seize the crown of Scotland. Includes textual notes, chronology, and scene-by-scene analysis.
Holds:

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On Order

Summary

Summary

One of Shakespeare's most popular plays, filled with fierce, violent action, Macbeth is a human drama of ambition, desire, and guilt in a world of blood and darkness, with whispers of the supernatural.

Under the editorial supervision of Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, two of today's most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, this Modern Library series incorporates definitive texts and authoritative notes from William Shakespeare: Complete Works . Each play includes an Introduction as well as an overview of Shakespeare's theatrical career; commentary on past and current productions based on interviews with leading directors, actors, and designers; scene-by-scene analysis; key facts about the work; a chronology of Shakespeare's life and times; and black-and-white illustrations.

Ideal for students, theater professionals, and general readers, these modern and accessible editions from the Royal Shakespeare Company set a new standard in Shakespearean literature for the twenty-first century.


Author Notes

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School.

At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry.

By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true.

Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play.

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Excerpts

Excerpts

Dramatis Personae DUNCAN, King of Scotland MALCOLM his sons DONALBAIN MACBETH, Thane of Glamis, later of Cawdor, later King of Scotland LADY MACBETH BANQUO, a thane of Scotland FLEANCE, his son MACDUFF, Thane of Fife LADY MACDUFF SON of Macduff and Lady Macduff LENNEX ROSS MENTEITH thanes and noblemen of Scotland ANGUS CAITHNESS SIWARD, Earl of Northumberland YOUNG SIWARD, his son SEYTON, an officer attending Macbeth Another LORD ENGLISH DOCTOR SCOTTISH DOCTOR GENTLEWOMAN attending Lady Macbeth CAPTAIN serving Duncan PORTER OLD MAN Three MURDERERS of Banquo First MURDERERS at Macduff's castle MESSENGER to Lady Macbeth MESSENGER to Lady Macduff SERVENT to Macbeth SERVENT to Lady Macbeth Three WITCHES or WEIRD SISTERS HECATE Three APPARITIONS Lords, Gentlemen, Officers, Soldiers, Murderers, and Attendants SCENE: Scotland; England Location: An open place. hurlyburly tumult Grimalkin i.e., gray cat, name of the witch's familiar--a demon or evil spirit supposed to answer a witch's call and to allow him or her to perform black magic. Paddock toad; also a familiar Anon At once, right away. 1.2 Location: A camp near Forres. 0.1 Alarum trumpet call to arms 1.1 * Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches. FIRST WITCH When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain? SECOND WITCH When the hurlyburly's done, When the battle's lost and won. THIRD WITCH That will be ere the set of sun. first witch Where the place? second witch Upon the heath. third witch There to meet with Macbeth. FIRST WITCH  I come, Grimalkin! SECOND WITCH  Paddock calls. THIRD WITCH  Anon. ALL Fair is foul, and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air. Exeunt. 1.2 * Alarum within. Enter King [Duncan], Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox, with attendants, meeting a bleeding Captain. DUNCAN What bloody man is that? He can report, As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt newest state latest news.   sergeant i.e., staff officer. (There may be no inconsistency with his rank of "captain" in the stage direction and speech prefixes in the Folio.) broil battle spent tired out choke their art render their skill in swimming useless. The merciless . . . supplied The merciless Macdonwald--worthy of the hated name of rebel, for in the cause of rebellion an ever-increasing number of villainous persons and unnatural qualities swarm about him like vermin--is joined by light-armed Irish footsoldiers and ax-armed horsemen from the western islands of Scotland (the Hebrides and perhaps Ireland) And Fortune . . . whore i.e., Fortune, proverbially a false strumpet, smiles at first on Macdonwald's damned rebellion but deserts him in his hour of need. well . . . name well he deserves a name that is synonymous with "brave" minion darling. (Macbeth is Valor's darling, not Fortune's.) the slave i.e., Macdonwald Which . . . to him i.e., Macbeth paused for no ceremonious greeting or farewell to Macdonwald. nave navel.   chops jaws cousin kinsman As . . . swells Just as terrible storms at sea arise out of the east, from the place where the sun first shows itself in the seeming comfort of the dawn, even thus did a new military threat come on the heels of the seeming good news of Macdonwald's execution. skipping (1) lightly armed, quick at maneuvering (2) skittish surveying vantage seeing an opportunity The newest state. MALCOLM This is the sergeant Who like a good and hardy soldier fought 'Gainst my captivity.--Hail, brave friend! Say to the King the knowledge of the broil As thou didst leave it. CAPTAIN Doubtful it stood, As two spent swimme Excerpted from Macbeth by William Shakespeare All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.