Tragedie of Macbeth : A Frankly Annotated First Folio Edition

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Tragedie of Macbeth : A Frankly Annotated First Folio Edition

Walmart # 561930523
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As Shakespeare's works are most accessible when viewed as working theatrical playscripts, "The Tragedie of Macbeth: A Frankly Annotated First Folio Edition" preserves the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation of the First Folio of 1623 while at the same time providing the most comprehensive, revelatory, and plainspoken annotation to date. Based on the principle that Shakespeare's plays were written as popular (and not entirely decent) entertainments aimed at an adult (and not overly refined) audience, this no-nonsense and sexually candid text offers performers, scholars, and anyone with an interest in Shakespeare a unique resource to gain valuable insights into the play, the world in which Shakespeare wrote, and the playhouse in which his plays were produced.

About This Item

Paperback, McFarland & Co Inc Pub, 2012, ISBN13 9780786464791, ISBN10 0786464798
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'Let it come down.' Ma

'Let it come down.' Macbeth is a remarkably saturnine, poisonous play: a thread of muddy doom is woven through the fabric of its plot, and any hint of redemption obscured by dark, threatening clouds. That its skeleton is constructed with certain stock materials-vaulting ambition punished, the insidious and cruel female, the equivocal and often deleterious nature of prophecy-is curious given its transcendence of the maudlin trappings of most of these sorts of tragedies: Macbeth takes place, after all, on a somewhat epic-scale; unlike similar fictions, however, it doesn't squeeze in its more human elements as mere padding between its battle scenes: the play is its human elements. Despite the conspicuous spilling of blood and the sometimes convoluted machinations of its political contexts, Macbeth is truly a tragedy of the soul. Relationships are strained here; and that of Lady Macbeth and her husband is, obviously, the most interesting and complex Shakespeare is offering: the veil between sanity and madness is delicate in a play where guilt is consistently put further on the backburner as the atrocities pile up. Lady Macbeth, seemingly a seething black hole of corruption and evil, provides us with an interesting contrast to the slow devolution of her husband: her own guilt manifests behind the curtain of consciousness, only reaching its climax offstage, where her (implied) suicide-and its motivation-remains somewhat mysterious and open to interpretation. Macbeth, on the other hand, remains unrepentant to the last, and we are treated to his gruesome undoing in exacting detail. Shakespeare has loaded the duality that exists in both of these characters with a great deal of psychological weight: the tension that boils between them is more complex than murderer and accessory (and we can pick who fits which title). Lady Macbeth's convictions exist undeterred until she is confronted with their ramifications after-the-fact; Macbeth's own convictions waver in the face of forethought, but once the transaction has been purchased with blood, he stands behind them, unwavering, to his very death. A haunted couple, they have become archetypes in our literature. Macbeth's relationship with Banquo is less baroque. Banquo provides a foil of reason to Macbeth's decline: Banquo represents the innocent who stands on the just side of fate, while Macbeth rises heavenwards, like Icarus, chasing destiny with dire results. This begs a question, however: how much of what takes place in Macbeth is solely the work of destiny? Certainly one can say that the prophecies regarding both Banquo and Macbeth coming to their fruition is confirmation of the play's propensity towards the supernatural, but of Macbeth's pursuit of fate...this is more curious: after all, why plot to kill Duncan and make yourself king if the cards have already been laid out towards this end? Or are Macbeth's crimes exactly what the prophecy infers? This question could be argued in circles, certainly, because it exists beyond the constraints of the play. Macbeth's vision is very dark, however, and I would lean towards the latter conclusion: predestination requires a fated evil as much as a fated good, and we do not always find ourselves in the position to choose. This is one of the more troubling truths examined in Macbeth. Macbeth is obsessed with the supernatural: with fate, with visions, with incantation, with prophecy. It is entirely natural, then, that its characters should be shrouded in the gloom of uncertainty: each of these people is swallowed up by the fog that surrounds them, whether for eventual good or ill. None of them leave this play without experiencing shattering transformation, both internal and external. But the play goes beyond average considerations in pursuit of more metaphysical themes: it suffocates us with its horrors and leaves us disconcerted by their import-chews at our hopes as much as at our fears. It implies, without beating us over the head, that perhaps free will is a more complicated privilege than we'd care to admit: that perhaps even that most elemental of freedoms is subject, somehow, to the caprices of fate.

Macbeth is Shakespeare's

Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy and, many would say, his darkest. Unfortunately I always seem to read this play at the wrong time or in the wrong manner. The first time I went through it a few years ago, I was speed-reading in order to be able to discuss it with my brother; this time around, I read it immediately after Hamlet. Next to that long, graceful, introspective play, Macbeth's strengths and weaknesses become that much clearer. It is short, lean, and action-packed, but it can also seem rather choppy and sketchy, particularly near the beginning and end. I think that because of this, Macbeth may play much better than it reads, more so than some of Shakespeare's other plays. I certainly remember loving the Ian McKellen and Judi Dench video directed by Trevor Nunn, but then it's been awhile. I've been reading all of these plays for class in my Complete Pelican Shakespeare. The notes and introductions have ranged from great to mediocre, with Stephen Orgel's hack job on Macbeth being at the bottom of the pile. I disagreed with virtually every piece of interpretation in his intro; not only did his discussion of the play's historical background conflict with my professor's—that might have her error instead of his, of course—but he also implied that Malcolm and Macduff were LOVERS! I can understand why you might want to apply queer theory to certain Shakespeare plays, such as The Merchant of Venice, but this suggestion of Orgel's is just too ridiculous to take seriously. Moreover, his line-by-line notes weren't nearly as helpful as A. R. Braunmuller's for Hamlet, to cite just one example. Despite these problems, I found myself getting into the story just about as I reached the middle. It really is a magnificent play. I think in the end what draws me to Macbeth is that it presents a world where evil is very real, and yet it does not allow for it to completely triumph over goodness. From the witches' devilish incantations to the guilt Lady Macbeth shows in her famous sleepwalking scene, this is a study of evil, sin, and suffering in all their various forms: vain ambition, jealousy, negligence (one could argue that Macduff is guilty of this—I like that Shakespeare's good guys are complex even in plays like this), death, revenge. And yet in the end, the Macbeths get their just deserts, and all is righted. Hopefully someday I'll read it under better circumstances-and in a different edition!

Macbeth is Shakespeare's

Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy and, many would say, his darkest. Unfortunately I always seem to read this play at the wrong time or in the wrong manner. The first time I went through it a few years ago, I was speed-reading in order to be able to discuss it with my brother; this time around, I read it immediately after Hamlet. Next to that long, graceful, introspective play, Macbeth's strengths and weaknesses become that much clearer. It is short, lean, and action-packed, but it can also seem rather choppy and sketchy, particularly near the beginning and end. I think that because of this, Macbeth may play much better than it reads, more so than some of Shakespeare's other plays. I certainly remember loving the Ian McKellen and Judi Dench video directed by Trevor Nunn, but then it's been awhile. I've been reading all of these plays for class in my Complete Pelican Shakespeare. The notes and introductions have ranged from great to mediocre, with Stephen Orgel's hack job on Macbeth being at the bottom of the pile. I disagreed with virtually every piece of interpretation in his intro; not only did his discussion of the play's historical background conflict with my professor's—that might have her error instead of his, of course—but he also implied that Malcolm and Macduff were LOVERS! I can understand why you might want to apply queer theory to certain Shakespeare plays, such as The Merchant of Venice, but this suggestion of Orgel's is just too ridiculous to take seriously. Moreover, his line-by-line notes weren't nearly as helpful as A. R. Braunmuller's for Hamlet, to cite just one example. Despite these problems, I found myself getting into the story just about as I reached the middle. It really is a magnificent play. I think in the end what draws me to Macbeth is that it presents a world where evil is very real, and yet it does not allow for it to completely triumph over goodness. From the witches' devilish incantations to the guilt Lady Macbeth shows in her famous sleepwalking scene, this is a study of evil, sin, and suffering in all their various forms: vain ambition, jealousy, negligence (one could argue that Macduff is guilty of this—I like that Shakespeare's good guys are complex even in plays like this), death, revenge. And yet in the end, the Macbeths get their just deserts, and all is righted. Hopefully someday I'll read it under better circumstances-and in a different edition!

Dark and supernatural, Ma

Dark and supernatural, Macbeth is one of my favorite of Shakespeare's tragedies. One of the biggest questions I always ask is, "Would the weird sisters' prophecies come to pass even if Macbeth hadn't gone all murder crazy?" Macbeth is a great cautionary tale of the dangers of ambition, especially when it comes to power. Shakespeare explores what lengths men will go to for power, especially when they believe it is owed them. Adding this copy to my Little Free Library in hopes that someone in the neighborhood can learn something from it, especially as certain phrases remind me of the current political climate and I know the way my neighbors tend to vote.

Opening with the propheci

Opening with the prophecies of the three witches always caught my imagination. I love how the story relates to that throughout the play, and also how Macbeth is intrigued that he may indeed become king. It adds a great, dramatic effect. Beginning to end this is a brilliantly written play.
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