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Macbeth by [Shakespeare, William ]
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Macbeth Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 410 customer reviews

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Length: 141 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon.co.uk Review

If anything, Othello has increased its stature as one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies ever since it was first written, between 1603 and 1604, due to the victimisation suffered by its tragic hero, Othello, as a result of his skin colour. Othello is a "noble Moor", a North African Muslim who has converted to Christianity and is deemed one of the Venetian state's most reliable soldiers. However, his ensign Iago harbours an obscure hatred against his general, and when Othello secretly marries the beautiful daughter of the Venetian senator Brabanzio, Iago begins his subtle campaign of vilification, which will inevitably lead to the deaths of more than just Othello and Desdemona.

An extraordinary play, both for its dramatic economy and power as well as its remarkable language, from Othello's bombastic "traveller's history" to Desdemona's elegiac "willow song", the play raises uncomfortable questions about ongoing questions of not only racial identity but also sexuality, as Othello and Desdemona's sexual relationship becomes the voyeuristic site of Iago's attempt to destroy them. Particularly fascinated with the question of what it means to "see", Othello also contains one of the greatest tragic death scenes in all of Shakespeare, with Othello's final identification with "a malignant and a turbaned Turk". --Jerry Brotton

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


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 248 KB
  • Print Length: 141 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007T1R2RM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 410 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #151,008 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

By Jon Chambers VINE VOICE on 21 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We might expect an academic who has made her name as a feminist critic to find something interesting to say about 'As You Like It'. Juliet Dusinberre doesn't disappoint. Although its aspects of performance history can be a little wearisome, her Introduction is richly rewarding. Not surprisingly, she makes much of the play's cross-dressing and role-playing (boy playing woman playing man etc.). She finds questions of gender much more ambiguous and complex than they first appear and presents an account of a play in which liberating modes of behaviour can be adopted as easily as costumes can be donned. It is a play which 'redefines gender'.

Equally subversive, she thinks, are the play's allusions to Robin Hood. Duke Senior's comradely courtiers are partners rather than subjects, and his court more communal than hierarchic. Together with the animal welfare concerns expressed in the play, the Duke's vegetarian tendencies (which echo the real-life courtier John Harington's) and Orlando's 'challenge to primogeniture' (it is he, after all, who inherits a dukedom), the 'alternative', revolutionary elements of AYL are neatly drawn attention to.

There are some inspired insights. Touchstone's 'dreadful joke', as Dusinberre calls it (about pancakes in 1.2), makes sense if the court performance at Richmond Palace took place on the Shrove Tuesday of 1599, as she thinks highly likely. She further suggests that some of the play's exotic features (like the lion in 3.2.) were matched by the elaborate wood carvings in Richmond's outer court, while Rosalind's reference to Troilus not dying for love might have been accompanied by a gesture to the tapestry depicting Troy hanging in Richmond's Great Hall where plays were performed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book itself was bought in order for my daughter to study in school, as most people know the plot line, i will not comment on the quality of the story. However, the book itself has an extensive range of notes, and definitions of difficult Shakespearean words on the side of the script. There is also a good explanation on the context of the book, and the history behind it, which seems useful.
However, the reason i only gave it four stars, was due to the fact that it arrived with the top right corner creased, being a perfectionist, and somebody who loves the feel of new books, that irritated me slightly.
Aside from that, it seems perfect for those of you buying this book to study it, in fact my daughter's school encouraged parents to get this particular book rather than other macbeth books. And,it's a great bargain considering that other book stores sell it for a more expensive price.
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I am studying this play for A2 English Literature and definitely reccomend this Oxford School Shakespeare edition. This is because of the fact that the text is clearly set out, and it also includes modern English references and annotations at the side to help with understanding. (This is very convenient) Furthermore, there are also some small diagrams and full page photographs of the play in action which I find quite beneficial in expressing the mood and tone of the play. Although it is a slightly more expensive edition than others such as the Wordsworth Classics, it is a very well presented edition with good space for annotations, and I am thoroughly happy that I chose to purchase this one.
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Perfect for my 15 year old grandchild who found the original text daunting. Having the plain English text alongside the other has helped her make sense of it all. (Just need to ignore the few instances of American spelling e.g. color!)
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This was bought for a grandson who is studying Macbeth as a GCSE text. He's reading it by himself and finds, as I planned, that the explanatory notes are clear and helpful so that he is able to understand enjoy the play in a way that I was never able to do when I first read the play as a teenager.

Longman is still an excellent publisher of Shakespeare for young people, as it was when I was teaching in the 80s and 90s, and the delivery of the book to his address was very quick. This was a very satisfactory purchase.
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This is an excellent book for those studying Macbeth for G.C.S.E or as a school project for English Language / Literature Studies. with a no nonsense guide to help students understand the text contained, One side has Shakespearian Language and the opposite page gives explanation of that text... simply Brilliant. 10 / 10
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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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The book itself is very straightforward and clear in presentation. It will do the job of guiding study of this wonderful classic play. However, I thought it would be in slightly better condition from the description. Unfortunately the spine was bent back, the cover was creased noticeably, there were handwritten annotations throughout the text and highlighting on several pages. Just a bit distracting, but it is useable.
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