The Norton Critical Edition of Macbeth, Shakespeare's terrifying depiction of a man and woman's fall into evil, derives from the First Folio (1623), the only authoritative text of the play. The edition includes an introduction, annotations, and textual notes.A rich “Sources and Contexts” section provides readers with an understanding of Macbeth’s origins from earlier texts, specifically the works of the Roman playwright Seneca, the Tudor historian Raphael Holinshed, and a medieval drama The Slaughter of the Holy Innocents and the Death of Herod. The contexts for the play include contemporary debates on predestination vs. free will (Martin Luther vs. Erasmus), witchcraft as fiction or fact (Reginald Scot vs. King James I), the ethics of regicide (an Elizabethan homily vs. Juan de Mariana, S.J.), and a treatise on equivocation (Henry Garnet, S.J.). This edition also features adaptations--Davenant's moralistic Macbeth, some travesties, and Welcome Msomi's recent South African retelling, uMabatha.
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