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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 9 October 2007
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. I had no idea the Bard's plays would be this good from my wretched experience at school. And now how I clearly recall the scolding advice of our old English teachers, to 'not read any of the exam notes' like 'Brodie's notes' as that 'would not help you learn what it was really about' and was 'akin to cheating.' As Macbeth, I would curse them all to hell, for having cheated me out of what should have been a wonderful educational experience. No Fear Shakespeare - thank you.
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on 29 March 2011
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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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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on 17 April 2013
The layout of this is attractive with text on the right and helpful annotations on the left. Also useful character tablesa and act by act plot summary. Far the best edition I have come across for GCSE students.
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on 3 October 2011
I bought this book for my GCSE's, like many people I suppose, I must say that I am generally impressed! Although it is a paperback book, it holds up for weeks at a time in my school bag. It has lots of useful notes about 'Macbeth - The Man' which we are currently doing as an essay. It's print is also slightly larger than other books, meaning it is much easier on the eyes. I would certainly buy this book over other ones.
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on 13 December 2012
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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on 18 December 2014
Fabulous text, simple and easy to read with great explanation. This is helping make Shakespeare accessible to my daughter who was previously completely uninterested in the topic. I would definitely recommend this!
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on 18 March 2013
I bought the book to help my teenager (GCSE) with revision. She found it easy to follow
and a much needed 'handy hint' to help with homework , summerising acts of Maberth.
It helped me to recall information learnt some thirty years ago too! I would recommend to all
who have GCSE.
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on 13 January 2010
I bought this to help me re-sit my exams

It helps identify and explain the key points well

I passed with flying colours, and I think this helped me
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on 21 March 2012
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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