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Macbeth (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – 5 May 1992


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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; annotated edition edition (5 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853260355
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853260353
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire and was baptised on 26 April 1564. Thought to have been educated at the local grammar school, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he went on to have three children, at the age of eighteen, before moving to London to work in the theatre. Two erotic poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were published in 1593 and 1594 and records of his plays begin to appear in 1594 for Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI. Shakespeare's tragic period lasted from around 1600 to 1608, during which period he wrote plays including Hamlet and Othello. The first editions of the sonnets were published in 1609 but evidence suggests that Shakespeare had been writing them for years for a private readership.

Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life in Stratford, by now a wealthy man. He died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623.

(The portrait details: The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. NPG1, © National Portrait Gallery, London)

Product Description

Amazon Review

One of Shakespeare's greatest, but also bloodiest tragedies, was written around 1605 to 1606. Many have seen the story of Macbeth's murder and usurpation of the legitimate Scottish King Duncan as having obvious connection to contemporary issues regarding King James I (James VI of Scotland), and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. King James was particularly fascinated with witchcraft, so the appearance of the witches chanting "Fair is foul, and foul is fair" at the opening of the play seemed particularly topical, as was Macbeth's betrayal of Banquo, from whom James claimed direct descent.

However, the play is clearly far more than a piece of royal entertainment. It is also a fast-moving and dramatically satisfying piece of theatre. Macbeth's existential struggle between loyalty to his King and his "Vaulting ambition" is fascinating to watch, as his is struggle with Lady Macbeth, and her own terrifying refusal of her maternal role. The play shows an intensification of Shakespeare's interest in mothers and their effect upon ruling masculinity, and also contains some of the most memorable speeches in the entire canon, including Macbeth's reflections that ultimately life "is a tale/Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,/Signifying nothing". --Jerry Brotton

About the Author

Nicholas Brooke is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of East Anglia.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By RR Waller TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
Wordsworth Classics do not try to be anything they are not, a feature I have liked about them for years. They contain the text in a basic paperback format and are produced at a very cheap price. For students at Key Stage Three or GCSE, these are excellent texts, allowing them to annotate, underline and highlight in the knowledge that "they are expendable". For play production, they are ideal. Concentrating students on the text is an excellent idea which forces them to think and consider the language and that is the Shakespeare.

There is an edition of this accompanied by a CD and it is the best reasonably-priced study CD I have encountered and much better than many higher priced competitors; not only is the content excellent but the software and programming is solid too, an essential feature of any study CD.

Recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. M. Kennedy on 15 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
As a 50 something re-visiting my GCSE English, the layout and notes in this book have been very helpful and helped me to interpret this play properly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on 9 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is really helpful I used it in preparation for my A2 English lit exam and found it really helpful, would seriously recommend
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Potter on 23 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback
I run an amateur drama group who put on a Shakespeare play every year in our Victorian town park. We work on a shoestring budget and Wordsworth Classic scripts have been a lifeline to us. We usually need at least 20 copies so at this budget price they are very useful. If you want superior paper and print quality you should go for something more expensive but they are clear, accurate and easy to carry around - even in a sword fight!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Agg on 14 Dec 2011
Format: Paperback
This was very useful to my son who is studing Macbeth for his GCSE's and enjoyed it very much alongside his teaching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dylan Williams on 26 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was going to buy the oxford school version of it but this is cheaper and its all the same. Decent version still tells you everything you need to know. For the little price you pay it fine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Roach on 29 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this as a rough copy for note making alongside my studies, it is a cheap, well sized and well formatted version of the play and I have recommended it to other students
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Format: Paperback
How powerful can a prophecy be? When Macbeth receives a prophecy from three witches that he will be King of Scotland he makes it so by murdering King Duncan and taking the throne.

I hadn’t read any Shakespeare since school and the prospect of it seemed a little daunting. I could recall it being hard work and often needing translation to make any sense. Now reading Shakespeare as an adult I can appreciate the mastery Shakespeare has over language. That being said I enjoyed the simplicity of the witches’ rhyming couplets and I could imagine the excitement every time they entered on stage.

I read this book as part of a Buddy Read and so I had a great chance to look into the play in a much deeper way than I would have before. There were so many interesting themes with one of my favourites being ambition and how it drives the characters in the play.

I really enjoyed reading this but I probably still wouldn’t read Shakespeare casually. I would love to do another as a Buddy Read sometime.
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