|"Each edition includes: "|
- Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
- Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
- Scene-by-scene plot summaries
- A key to famous lines and phrases
- An introduction to reading Shakespeare''s language
- An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
- Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library''s vast holdings of rare books
"Essay by" Susan Snyder
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world''s largest collection of Shakespeare''s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit www.folger.edu.
Shakespeare's dark portrait of ambition begins when the eponymous hero, a Scottish soldier, encounters three witches, who mysteriously refer to him as the future king. As, step by step, their prophecy begins to be fulfilled, the seeds of ambition are planted not only in Macbeth but in his scheming wife, who soon is plotting the murder of Duncan, King of Scotland. This murder--and the string of killings that inevitably follow--sets in motion a series of dark deeds that torment Macbeth and Lady Macbeth with guilt, which manifests itself most pointedly when a sleepwalking Lady Macbeth attempts to wash the blood from her hands, famously uttering "Out, damn'd spot!" MACBETH was probably written between 1603 and 1606; it is the last of Shakespeare's major tragedies and is peculiarly concise, perhaps because Shakespeare had learned of King James's penchant for shorter works. The plot was inspired by the Chronicles of Holinshed's narrative of the reigns of Duncan and Macbeth in Scotland. Richard Burbage, one of the most prominent actors of the Elizabethan stage, is said to have originated the title role.
"...a most excellent play for variety." - Samuel Pepys 12/27/1666 Book Text
"To the Duke's house, and saw 'Macbeth,' which, though I saw it lately, yet appears a most excellent play in all respects, but especially in divertissement, though it be a deep tragedy; which is a strange perfection in a tragedy, it being most proper here, and suitable." - Samuel Pepys 01/07/1667