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The Tragedy of Macbeth: The Oxford Shakespeare (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 17 Apr 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (17 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199535833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199535835
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 2 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The explosive and overwhelming effect of a truck bomb...this horrific, riveting "Macbeth" ought to be seen by as many people as possible." -- Terry Teachout, "The Wall Street Journal" --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Macbeth was first produced at a time of radical theatrical change in England. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roman Clodia TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 April 2012
Format: Paperback
I really like these Oxford individual editions of Shakespeare, under the general editorship of Stanley Wells. The introductions and notes are generally up-to-date and informed by relatively recent research, and are attentive to performance as well as poetic text.

Macbeth is a well-known play, dark, tight and swift-moving as it charts a narrative of ambition, assassination, murder and - perhaps above all - guilt. The psycho-pathology of both Macbeth and the superlative though chilling Lady Macbeth makes this seem very 'modern' in lots of way. The poetry here is magnificent, and new readers will find themselves coming across many well-known quotes.

So all in all this is a great edition of this play and especially useful for students, teachers and readers new to Shakespeare since it includes glosses and notes.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Oxford Shakespeares are, I think, an excellent first choice for non-academic readers such as myself. The introduction is helpful, readable and - most importantly for those of us who are actually reading for pleasure - actually adds to one's enjoyment of the play.

Tone of footnotes and introduction is, thankfully, never of awful dumbing-down that besets the Macmillan current editions,

References are all on the page rather than collected at the back of the book,

Paper is of a high quality,

Binding is solid,

Typeface is clear and elegant.
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Format: Paperback
I absolutely hated Shakespeare at school. To me, it was all utterly incomprehensible gobbledigook. Thus, I whiled away the lessons with a secret comic stuffed in the pages, proudly failing my English Literature 'O' level, happy that I had would never forget this rubbish as I had deliberately not learned a word of it in the space of two years of enforced study. So now, twenty-two years later, I felt somewhat embarrassed in a business course recently where the trainer made some funny anecdote about an actor not being able to see a dagger and thus giving a poor performance.. Intrigued, my search led me to the website of this book. I immediately bought it and read it enthralled, cover to cover, in the space of two days. If only we had had this at school! The book is very nicely laid out : one side of a double page is the original, the other a modern English translation. The beauty of this book is that it does not preach to you about what is important to understand for an exam; it is purely a translation. The translation makes no attempt at maintaining any of the poetic nature of the original, it is purely and simply, plain English. The side-by-side format allows you to read a passage in modern English, and then at-a-glance read the original text and try to work out the meaning. Doing this you find that it is possible to understand, on a second reading, the original text, even though it made no sense on first reading. The translation about the 'insane root' being 'drugs' was hilarious, and with reflection could be understood, as in those days they would undoudtedly have known the effects of mistakenly eating wild plant tubers like fools parsley and hemlock. The story of Macbeth itself is utterly gripping; I could hardly put the book down.Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition
Lies, deceit, treachery, poison, knives in the night, justified paranoia, guilt, revenge... it is all there, and more, in this classic story of how the lust for power can literally drive people crazy. It can also kill them. I first read this play of William Shakespeare as a high school reading assignment, the way the vast majority of people do. Lo' these many years later, I've undertaken a project of re-reading a lot of those H.S. reading assignments, including the plays of Shakespeare, in part to determine how much I missed the first time around, which, in two short words is normally: a lot.

The play is set in Scotland. The king is Duncan. His not faithful lord, called "thane" in Scotland at the time, is Macbeth. And he has a wife who has become a symbol of all wives who relentlessly push their husbands to be "successful," and who is normally addressed with the misnomer of "Lady." ("That's no lady, that's my wife"...but I digress). As Cliff Notes will tell you, Duncan is murdered in his sleep, with those proverbial "long knives." Macbeth skillfully diverts the blame to his body guards, who are conveniently also killed (a death man tells no tales) while also casting suspicion on Duncan's sons, who have fled for their lives to further shores. How many times, throughout all the cultures and civilizations of the world, has this scenario basically unfolded?

Throughout many of his plays Shakespeare utilizes elements from the ancient Greek plays, such as prophecy and a "chorus" that predicts future events, often esoterically. In this play, Shakespeare uses three witches around a cauldron, stirring, and if there is one line that most people remember from the play, it is the first line of their chorus: "Double, double, toil and trouble.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a Mature student and a first time reader of Shakespear and particularly Macbeth. I could not have done my first essay without the support and help of 'No Fear Shakespeare' - which translated the play for me in plain every day English. First class read, easy to understand, enjoyable and highly recommended.
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