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

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4.5 out of 5 stars 270 customer reviews

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  • The Tragedy of Macbeth: The Oxford Shakespeare (Oxford World's Classics)
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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (270 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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

"It's hard to see how the New Folger Library's section on Shakespeare's language could be much better. An exceptionally good choice for an introductory text".-- The Shakespeare Newsletter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent edition, larger than the others with annotations adjacent to the text on the same page which is excellent. As the previous reviewer says, as the book is larger than your usual sized book this helps fit all that useful information in and also allows plently of room to add your own notes in comparison to other editions. Overall, excellent edition, especially when I compare it to the other editions others use in my class and also my teacher recommended this edition.
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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: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought to match in with requirements of the school.

This is everything you need to understand the play along with the play in full.

The notes are described as 'extensive' and I would agree with that from the synopsis of the play to the contextual setting of Scotland, from the characters to the men their are based on this book covers it all. It can be heavy going at times but in a classroom setting I'm sure it becomes easier!

If your school hasn't recommended this book I would suggest you buy it. The explanations of the language throughout the play is very useful along with all the extra information makes this an excellent play, guide and revision book all in one.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's Macbeth, it's Shakespeare. This is an excellently priced publication for students and anyone else who has to read or study large amounts of literature. My only complaint is that it doesn't include the Dramatis Personae at the beginning. Otherwise, perfect.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bought the Kindle version. The text is littered with numbers that link to the annotations, which are listed after each scene. Clicking on these numbers does not take you to the corresponding annotation, but just moves the line with the number to the top of the screen. As a result, you constantly have to move manually between the text and the annotations. In addition, the text is almost unreadable because of all the numbers (why not just make the word(s) in question a link?). This means I would not buy this Kindle version again even if I could read the text without having to refer to the annotations.
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