Macbeth by William Shakespeare
(Folger Shakespeare Library)

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Despite the fact that Lady Macbeth does fascinate me, the play is still rather disturbing to me. It is a ghost story: it is horror. I am not commonly a fan of those genres, so I should not be surprised that I wasn’t crazy about the supernatural elements. That said, I did enjoy reading it...
-Rebecca Reads

Synopsis

One of the great Shakespearean tragedies, Macbeth is a dark and bloody drama of ambition, murder, guilt, and revenge. Prompted by the prophecies of three mysterious witches and goaded by his ambitious wife, the Scottish thane Macbeth murders Duncan, King of Scotland, in order to succeed him on the throne. This foul deed soon entangles the conscience-stricken nobleman in a web of treachery, deceit, and more murders, which ultimately spells his doom. Set amid the gloomy castles and lonely heaths of medieval Scotland, Macbeth paints a striking dramatic portrait of a man of honor and integrity destroyed by a fatal character flaw and the tortures of a guilty imagination.
A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

 

About William Shakespeare

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William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.
 
Published June 1, 1985 by Barron's Educational Series. 224 pages
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Critic reviews for Macbeth
All: 7 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 1

Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by SashaJox on Jan 28 2014

Supernaturalism in Macbeth is vital to the storyline of the play...The trend of the supernatural in Macbeth portrays evil powers, though also provokes thought from the audience about whether these events take place or are a product of Macbeth’s imagination.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by musicisthegoodlife on Dec 12 2011

This book was surprisingly short and simple but reading it changed my point of view entirely and also introduced me to the 'World of Shakespeare'. Though it lacked the fun and heart thumping excitement of fiction novels, this book had something more to it.

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EzineArticles

Good
Reviewed by Bipasha Chowdhury on Aug 27 2008

Macbeth is easy to read and is accessible. Moreover, it identifies itself with the timeless themes - the corrupting nature of power and greed, and the terrible affects this can have. It is surely an absorbing read with a fascinating, yet thrilling sensation.

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Book Review Circle

Good
Reviewed by Padmapriya.S.Menon on Jan 28 2014

The supernatural witches add much to the horror and dread of the play. Macbeth is a conflict of good and evil...A wonderful classic not to be missed by any literate.

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Rebecca Reads

Above average
Reviewed by Rebecca Reid on Nov 05 2009

Despite the fact that Lady Macbeth does fascinate me, the play is still rather disturbing to me. It is a ghost story: it is horror. I am not commonly a fan of those genres, so I should not be surprised that I wasn’t crazy about the supernatural elements. That said, I did enjoy reading it...

Read Full Review of Macbeth (Folger Shakespeare L...

Laura's Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Laura on Sep 05 2014

Macbeth is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. It is succinct, action packed, and really toys with the question of power and corruption. It also has wonderful quotes.

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So Many Books, So Little Time

Below average
Reviewed by DeniseF on Mar 23 2012

I know that this is one of Shakespeare's most famous plays but I just couldn't get into it. I normally like Shakespeare and was looking forward to finally reading Macbeth but I was just so disappointed...Anyway, I didn't love this play but since it's Shakespeare, I am glad that I read it.

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Anastasia Lebedev 13 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 3.5 out of 5

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miracle 1 Jun 2016

Review on the play Macbeth

For kids today I think it's important for them to read literature and more importantly I think the should be able to understand what there reading. I believe if it wa...

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Anastasia Lebedev

Anastasia Lebedev 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list