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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 4 December 2008
I bought this for my son because he is studying Macbeth at school but after our family went to see the play I ended up reading it myself and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is loads of extra material about the origins of the story, about Shakespeare himself and about the characters and what they symbolise. Throughout the script, the meanings of unfamiliar words and phrases are clearly explained. There are also lots of photos from different RSC productions of the play, showing well-known actors and actresses in the leading roles (I really like the one of Ian McKellen and Judi Dench). I certainly felt I understood a lot more about the play after reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 May 2014
Yale's version of Macbeth comes with brilliant notes and I agree with previous recommendation of their paperback version. However, the kindle version doesn't even have the Acts and Scenes in the table of contents, making navigation an absurd struggle. Not providing simple page links to navigate between scenes is not only negligent, its outright ridiculous.
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Wasn't sure about purchasing a second user book for my son's GCSE coursework (in case he was compromised at school) but apart from the previous school's stamp on the first page (covered this up with a sticky label) rest of book was clean and with no rips, so was usable as described on Amazon's website.
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on 28 December 2013
if you are studying Macbeth in school, as I am, then this is the exact version used by most teachers (may want to check first) and has the script, explanations of the Shakespearean language as well as many hints and tips about analysing it.

just what I needed and asked for.
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on 19 May 2015
This book includes the story of Macbeth and on the bottom of each page is translated into modern language which has helped me understand the play a hell of a lot more than I would've. It's great for anyone studying the play at University!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 27 November 2007
Shakespeare's classic - full of intrigue, excitement and extremely famous lines - is presented in my by far preferred edition - Arden. It's on high quality paper, has great introductions written by current experts on Shakespeare, and has notes to accompany the text to give all but the most knowledgable Shakespeare readers something new to learn (at least according to my more knowledgable friends!). And most importantly from my point of view, the notes that accompany the Arden edition are complete enough for me (a relative novice), to learn and understand far more of Shakespeare's texts than I ever have before!

I firmly believe that the Arden editions are the way forward for Shakespeare buyers to go!
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on 21 May 2014
I like the Cambridge school Shakespeare books. I have written a version of Macbeth for Year Six pupils to perform and needed a good book with ideas for drama to get into role. It fits the bill perfectly.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2000
Shakespeare's shortest and bloodiest tragedy, MACBETH, is also possibly the most serious. Macbeth is a warrior who has just had his greatest victory, but his own "vaulting ambition," the spectral promises of the three weird sisters, and the spurring on of his wife drive him to a treason and miserable destruction for which he himself is completely responsible. The ominous imagery of the fog that hovers over the first scene of the play symbolizes the entire setting of the play. Shakespeare's repeated contrasts of such concepts as fair and foul, light and darkness, bravery and cowardice, cut us to the quick at every turn. MACBETH forces us to question "what is natural?" "what is honor?" and "Is life really 'a tale/ Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/ Signifying nothing?'" Few plays have ever illustrated the torments of Guilt (especially how it deprives one of Sleep) so vividly and stirringly.
I have read this play curiously as a child, excitedly as a teenager, passionately as a college student, and lovingly as a graduate student... and adult. Like all of Shakespeare's writing, it is still as fresh, and foreboding, and marvelous as ever. As a play it is first meant to be heard (cf. Hamlet says "we shall hear a play"), secondarily to be seen (which it must be), but, ah, the rich rewards of reading it at one's own pace are hard to surpass. The Arden edition of MACBETH is an excellent scholarly presentation, offering a bounty of helpful notes and information for both the serious and casual reader.
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on 29 March 2015
Bought as part of my English Literature course at A Level. A good play, quick to read and the footnotes at the bottom of each page are always useful whilst annotating the play.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2004
I studied this play for my English GCSE and automatically disregarded it because Shakespeare does sound pretty boring. However, once you understand all of the hidden meanings, themes, characters and sub-plots an entire world of betrayal, lust for power and ambition is released with the most magnificent subtlety.
I found the 'York Notes' guide book became essential and really helped me to fully understand the play for my coursework. Also watching the various film editions, including the RSC edition, made even more interesting.
The play starts with the significant and interesting three witches who tell Macbeth that he will eventually become king. Macbeth is an eager soldier of Scotland who feels hard done by when the King, Duncan grants his throne to his son after his death, rather than the more courageous Macbeth. His wife, Lady Macbeth urges him to kill the king in order to claim the throne but he soon realises that being King does not automatically bring the honour and loyalty he expects; this shortly leads to his downfall. In other words, "To be safe is nothing, but to be safely thus."
For me, Macbeth really got the 5star review because of its relevance to modern day life. For example, one theme of the book is that Macbeth is over ambitious, this leads him to his downfall; as does his greed for power. Making it something very relevant to celebrities and eager "pop idols".
This copy of the book is more difficult to read as it bombards almost every page with useless notes on certain words and refernces, if you are studying the play for English, you would be much better off with a study guide and the cheaper non-school version.
This book really makes you think. Yet it does not require your undivided attention for days because it is one Shakespeare's shortest plays. You simply must read this book and there are loads of guides on the internet to help you through it if you find the old language particularly difficult. No matter what your age or ability I think Macbeth has it all. An enthralling read.
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