Macbeth

Paperback | March 8, 2005

byWilliam ShakespeareEditorBurton Raffel

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Perhaps no other Shakespearean drama so engulfs its readers in the ruinous journey of surrender to evil as does Macbeth. A timeless tragedy about the nature of ambition, conscience, and the human heart, the play holds a profound grip on the Western imagination.

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Perhaps no other Shakespearean drama so engulfs its readers in the ruinous journey of surrender to evil as does Macbeth. A timeless tragedy about the nature of ambition, conscience, and the human heart, the play holds a profound grip on the Western imagination.

Burton Raffel is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Humanities Emeritus and professor of English emeritus, University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Among his many edited and translated publications are Poems and Prose from the Old English, Cligès, Lancelot, Perceval, Erec and Enide, and Yvain, all published by Yale University Press. Haro...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7.75 × 5 × 0.67 inPublished:March 8, 2005Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300106548

ISBN - 13:9780300106541

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Customer Reviews of Macbeth

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bloody hell! This is S's most violent and brutal play, excepting Titus Andronicus (which isn't very good), but it's also one of his best. Lady M. is one of my favorite characters of all time.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Did not like it. I had to read it for school and didn't enjoy it.
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant!!! A play full of dark humors. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Saved My Life I really loved the play itself because the book was able to translate Shakespear into English. Really helpful and highly recommand to English learners.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite! My favourite from Shakespeare.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book!! I liked reading this book even though the tone of this story is dark.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic Nothing more than a classic must read book! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must-Read I had to read this for school and at first, was sceptical to actually liking the play. I ended up loving Macbeth and embracing all of its wit, humour, and tragedy. A masterpiece! Anything from Shakespeare is of course a classic, but Macbeth really stands out as a favourite for me.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from "Fair is foul, and foul is fair" I must confess that there was a time when I despised this book. I hated everything about it primarily because I was required to read this about two years ago in Grade 12. Now that I am in college, I enjoyed reading this play on my own. I have come to realise that I didn't hated this book. I hated the fact that I was required to read this book. I hated the fact that my damn English teacher clinged onto every damn sentence and we had to analyze every single verse. The true beauty of this book doesn't lie in its analyzation but just reading it and enjoying a beautiful Elizabethan prose. Recommended to those who enjoy English language and fiction, in general. A great short play! "Come what come may, time and the hour runs through the roughest day."
Date published: 2011-10-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Like it! By far my second favourite of the pieces written by Shakespeare that I have read. Good way to show corruption and madness
Date published: 2011-05-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good I'm not going to lie, I hated STUDYING it. But on it's own it was very good. I'm always going to remember crazy Lady Macbeth.
Date published: 2010-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The lust for illegitimate power This is one of Shakespeare's plays I have liked best so far (I still have several ones left to read), along with Hamlet, King Lear and Julius Caesar. It is the tragedy of ambition and delusion, and the fatal results of those two vices combined. It is also one of Shakespeare's plays in which the supernatural has a greater participation. Just as Hamlet is driven to revenge by a ghost -his father's- Macbeth is driven to desperate ambition for power by three witches who tell him he is destined to occupy the throne of Scotland (way back in the Middle Ages). Though Macbeth is not a very resolute man and so has many doubts, his inescrupulous wife jumps in on the prophecy and pushes him all along. She must be one of the dreariest women to have appeared in fiction ever. You can imagine her truly as the mother in law from hell. Together, the Macbeths perpetrate a series of treasons and horrible murders, and even start up a war, all for the throne they will, of course, never enjoy. As always with Ol' Billy, the dialogues are incredibly strong and magnificent, full of passion and energy. The scene where the ghost of Banquo appears in the middle of a dinner is more than spooky, horrifying. This play is pure evil, violence, disaster and remorse, and the final transformation of Macbeth is necessarily too late, but worth contemplating.
Date published: 2009-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Historical Context I like to come at Macbeth from an historical perspective, a perspective where Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are not anti-heroes, but heroes of the highest order. How is that possible you ask? Because Macbeth is taking what is rightfully his. Modern audiences, and perhaps even audiences in Shakespeare's day (although that seems unlikely since they would have had a greater everyday knowledge of the power structures of Scottish clans), look at Macbeth as the story of power corrupting absolutely. We see it as a story where a man's ambition overrides his goodness, and his callous regicide justly destroys himself, his Lady and everything they have built. It is a comfortable reading for us. It supports our current belief in good and evil as absolutes, and it allows us to see Duncan as a benevolent leader, Banquo as a victim and Malcolm and Macduff as righteous avengers. It fits our view of the world. But this reading hurts the complexity that is Macbeth, and it dissolves what makes Macbeth my favourite Shakespearean tragedy -- the tragedy itself. There is little tragic in the fall of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth if we follow the ill-informed modern reading. They get what they deserve. They commit murder, they make a grab for power, they pay the price. We cannot pity them. And it is difficult to care for them. But consider the historical context and this reading is tipped on its side like a sacred cow in a dusty field of moonlight. Macbeth, as the next most powerful Thane, is next in line for Duncan's crown. It is his right. It is the way of Scottish accession. Duncan simply has no right to declare Malcolm the heir, and to do so immediately following Macbeth's greatest victory is both an insult and a challenge. Moreover, once all others back Malcolm and place themselves against Macbeth they are committing high treason. Should Macbeth have assassinated King Duncan? Probably not (although the alternative would have been civil war and is killing one King more criminal than being responsible for the death of thousands?), but therein lies the strength of Shakespeare's play. Macbeth and his Lady feel overwhelming guilt, and their killing of Duncan tears them apart. Not because it is what they deserve, but because they are fundamentally virtuous people who made a decision that, even righteous, wounded them as deeply as it wounded those around them. Taken within the context of Scottish accession, the play becomes much deeper and more meaningful. The conflicts of all the characters are muddied, the right and wrong becomes a worrisome mess, the tragedy deepens, and Macbeth and his Lady become honorable people who make a difficult choice that ultimately undermines their own values. This also suggests that the Witches and the supernatural are not some crazed deus ex machina that makes Macbeth's fate inevitable, but a form of chorus that plants seeds of understanding in the minds of the audience and Macbeth. It's a great play even if the historical context is ignored, but how much greater is it when the historical context is restored? I feel it becomes a match for Lear and Hamlet. Re-read it and see what you think.
Date published: 2008-10-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Best Play Macbeth is an honored man, but when he meets three witches, his life turns upside down. He is told that he will one day be king, yet he can only achieve it by murder. The witches warn Macbeth what would happen, but he ignores the advice. One murder quickly turns into another, and eventually he higher’s hit men to do the work for him. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, are going crazy. They begin to hear voices and see ghosts. This is the best play by William Shakespeare, and the greatest tragedy in the English language.
Date published: 2006-08-02