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Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
20,475176119 (4.02)602
Set in Medieval Scotland, in an atmosphere of civil unrest and mutual suspicion, this story of Macbeth and his wife-accomplice Lady Macbeth tells of the intellecual and emitional consequences of unbridled ambition and the cold-blooded murder it engenders.
  1. 101
    Hamlet by William Shakespeare (Pattty)
    Pattty: Si te gustó Hamlet seguro te gustará Macbeth, que es una historia buena y mucho más "macabra"
  2. 30
    Richard III [Norton Critical Edition] by William Shakespeare (kara.shamy)
  3. 53
    Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (Tallulah_Rose)
    Tallulah_Rose: "Wyrd Sisters" is a parody of "Macbeth", so everyone who enjoyed "Macbeth" might also like "Wyrd Sisters". On the other hand it's essential to have read "Macbeth" before reading "Wyrd Sisters".
  4. 10
    King Lear by William Shakespeare (kara.shamy)
  5. 00
    The Witch by Thomas Middleton (aethercowboy)
  6. 00
    Balladyna by Juliusz Słowacki (sirparsifal)
Ghosts (3)
Read (10)
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» See also 602 mentions

English (160)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (169)
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
RSC production at the Barbican theatre, with Christopher Ecclestone as Macbeth. Possibly the best staging of the play I've seen with a superb central performance, bringing layers to the role that I hadn't noticed before. ( )
  arewenotben | Jul 31, 2020 |
There is a commonly used structural/plotting device in drama whereby the nature of the leading characters are elucidated by their varying responses to the same event/temptation/threat. I'm not sufficient a scholar to know if this approach pre-dates Shakespeare but he certainly used it and it has certainly been employed many times since - because it can be very effective.

It's used in Julius Caesar - compare and contrast the conspirators' motivations for assassinating Caesar and it will tell you much about the varied natures of those conspirators.

Here in MacBeth it is used even more prominently - so much so that it is the responses to one act of ambiguous temptation in the first Act that forms the entire action and purpose of the play. Three people are tempted by the prophecies of the Weird Sisters. "Weird" derives a now rare meaning, "fate" from Old English "wyrd", that I am confident Shakespeare was aware of. Think about it; the Fate or Fateful Sisters. Makes perfect and terrifying sense in the context of the play.

So the three people tempted are MacBeth and Banquo, of course, since they were present for the prophecy, and Lady MacBeth, who hears it later from her husband, and stands to gain much, indirectly, if those uncanny sisters speak truth.

I feel that if the basic idea occurred to a contemporary Hollywood scriptwriter today, we'd have the story of virtuous, heroic Banquo, who would die himself whilst killing the usurper, leaving the throne to his son. Shakespeare, however, knew that a flawless hero is actually a fairly boring protagonist and instead relegated him to the secondary but crucial role of person who ignores the temptation but nevertheless reaps the reward offered in the prophecy (if founding a line of kings is any consolation for being murdered on the way to a feast hosted by your former best friend).

More interesting is the morally conflicted man who knows that the quickest way to the throne is also the worst and his ambitious wife who urges him on though she, when it comes to it, cannot do the evil deed herself.

So first we have the contrast between the good man and the bad, then we have the contrast between the initially reluctant man who goes on to commit crime after ever more brutal and heinous crime and the woman that, though she did nothing directly herself, becomes ever more remorseful and unhinged, until she can stand it no longer, her prayer to be "unsexed" having not been answered.

These contrasts reveal the Tragedy of the potentially great and good MacBeth.

I really read this in:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/30864936 ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
LATW audio production of the Scottish play. All of the cast are adequate but none of actors really stand out (sadly not even James Marsters) - although my opinion may have been coloured by almost the entire cast using American accents. The sound effects used for scenes with the witches are excellent and add just the right tone of weirdness that these scenes require. Not a bad version of the play but not one I'd recommend as a way to experience the narrative for the first time. ( )
  MickyFine | Jul 13, 2020 |
Othello to me was a tragedy. A man who wants to believe the best of his wife, but due to the whispering of others believes the worst in him. And even in death she does her very best to protect him still.

Macbeth was a play about one man's mission to become King. And his wife that stood by his side to make sure that came into being. If anything, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are definitely the perfect marriage. He has drive, as does she, and she will force him to do what is necessary in order to get what he and she wants.

The play begins with the end of a battle with Macbeth and we get to see how he is told constantly how brave, wonderful, and true he is (irony).

Here enter the three witches:

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble!

What is crazy though is you go from Macbeth putting down an uprising from another Thane (means a chief of a Scottish clan or a man that holds land) for trying to overthrow the King and you have everything after this dealing with Macbeth doing what he can to overthrow/murder the King so he can be King after hearing of a prophecy about how he will be King.

I don't know how you go from hearing a prophecy to hey this means I should kill the King. And I don't know how you ignore that the witches didn't say you would be a long lived King, but whatever. Apparently logic and Macbeth have never met.

FYI I still love this freaking play. It is juicy, the dialogue, the heat you get from Macbeth and his wife, how much he loves her, how much she pushes him, how them listening to each other led to their downfalls. Love it.

Apparently a couple that kills together, stays together. Or something.

Honestly after the murder of the King it becomes a question of when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are found out. They do their best to lay the crime on others, but anyone with sense (Banquo) starts looking at these two sideways and starts to put two and two together.

And because of the initial prophecy that Banquo's descendants would become kings, you know have Macbeth and Lady Macbeth planning his murder as well.

There's a lot of murdering going on is what I am saying.

And after the murder of Banquo is when Macbeth becomes troubled by what he has done to gain the throne.

Yeah he was fine up until then, but you know, now, regrets. See this is why I have a harder time with sympathy for Macbeth. Othello though stupidly was still tricked into betraying and murdering his wife. Macbeth went ahead and did what he wanted. I know some would argue that his wife pushed him into it, I still say that he did it with very little pushing. Yes Lady Macbeth strikes the killing blow for the King after Macbeth falters, but the actions afterwards to get rid of Banquo are on him.

As per usual, we have a ghost (Banquo) wrecking havoc on the living Macbeth. I would say that the ghost was just his own conscience beginning to gnaw at him, but that's just me.

After running back to the witches for more prophecies, we have Macbeth feeling secure in the knowledge that after what the witches have told him, no man can hurt him since all men are borne of women, that forests cannot move. He ignores the warning about Macduff. After seeing once again that Banquos descendants are a huge line of kings he becomes enraged again.

What comes after this is what finally breaks Lady Macbeth. Macbeth orders all of the inhabitants of Macduff's castle to be put to death. Which includes his wife and son. All I have to say is once you bring children into it, I 100 percent just hope the rest of the movie/book/play is you getting your ass owned.

I do want to say that Macduff to me was a bit of a coward. He had to know that Macbeth was going to come knocking. So leaving his people at his mercy so he could live. Eh.

Lady Macbeth descends into madness and we have Macbeth becoming harder and crueler doing anything he can to wipe out any opposition to his rule.

When Macbeth learns of his wife's suicide, he loses it completely.

One has to wonder if she kills herself because of her guilt of what they have done, or what she has seen her husband become due to all of their machinations.

Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more.
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Of course the end comes for Macbeth. Because of course those of us who have watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Star Wars knows that prophecies often have double meanings.

So Macduff beheads Macbeth and the prophecy of Banquos descendants becoming kings comes true.

( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
We had to read this one in year ten, and I enjoyed it, although not as much as Romeo & Juliet the previous year. ( )
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (156 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooke, NicholasEditormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Andrews, John F.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barnet, SylvanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bate, JonathanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bevington, David M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Books, PennyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boynton, Robert W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Braunmuller, A. R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chambers, E. K.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clark, SandraEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cumming, AlanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Agostino, NemiEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dali, SalvadorIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duffy, John DennisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elloway, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eriksson, Göran O.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farjeon, HerbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
French, Charles W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furness, Horace HowardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, RexEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gill, RomaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Groom, BernardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gruffydd, ArwelForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gundersheimer, WernerPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallqvist, Britt G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harbage, AlfredDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, George B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hudson, Henry N.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunter, G. K.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kittredge, George LymanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kortes, MargaretEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LaMar, Virginia A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lambert, Daniel HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leary, Daniel J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lott, BernardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mack, MaynardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mason, PamelaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McBeath, H.C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mowat, Barbara A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, KennethEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, KennethEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orgel, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rasmussen, EricEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ridley, M. R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William JamesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowe, KatherineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rumboll, F.C.H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rutter, Carol ChillingtonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sagarra, Josep M. deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schutt, J.H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schutt, J.H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, GwynTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thurber, SamuelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verity, A. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viegas-Faria, BeatrizTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waith, Eugene M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werstine, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, William ProctorEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, John DoverEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, StanleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zarate, OscarIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
Quotations
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Out, damned spot! out, I say!
Yet do I fear thy nature;

It is too full o' the milk of human kindness.
The attempt and not the deed
Confounds us.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please distinguish between this work, which is Shakespeare's original play, from any of its many adaptations (audio, video, reworking, etc.).
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Book description
Macbeth è uno dei picchi dell’immensa creatività di Shakespeare. Scozia, XI secolo. Istigato da apparizioni soprannaturali e da una moglie ambiziosa, il barone Macbeth uccide re Duncan e s’invischia in una catena di delitti fino a prendere coscienza della vanità del mondo e della diabolica insidiosità delle profezie. Con l’aiuto delle truppe inglesi, la nobiltà lealista, guidata da Macduff, uccide l’usurpatore ristabilendo l’ordine. Shakespeare condensa diciassette anni di storia in un tempo apparente di poche settimane, porta in scena coscienze logorate dal Male, dà vita a personaggi immortali, come quello di Lady Macbeth, miscela di cupidigia, odio, follia. Da questa tragedia Verdi trasse un’opera memorabile e il cinema, grazie a Welles (1948), Kurosawa (1957), Polanski (1971), e ora Branagh (2013) e Justin Kurzel (2015), non ha mai smesso di esplorarne le potenzialità poetiche.
(piopas)
Haiku summary
If he had waited,
The crown might have come to him,
Legitimately.
(hillaryrose7)

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0451526775, 0140714782, 0141013699

Yale University Press

An edition of this book was published by Yale University Press.

» Publisher information page

Sourcebooks MediaFusion

An edition of this book was published by Sourcebooks MediaFusion.

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909676977, 1909676969

Recorded Books

3 editions of this book were published by Recorded Books.

Editions: 1456100017, 1449877478, 1470332027

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