Referred to by superstitious actors as ‘the Scottish play’, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a tragedy in which appalling earthly crimes have lasting supernatural repercussions. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by George Hunter with an introduction by Carol Rutter.
‘By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes’
Promised a golden future as ruler of Scotland by three sinister witches, and spurred on by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan to ensure his ambitions come true. But he soon learns the meaning of terror – killing once, he must kill again and again, and the dead return to haunt him. A story of war, witchcraft and bloodshed, Macbeth also depicts the relationship between husbands and wives, and the risks they are prepared to take to achieve their desires.
This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare’s life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to Macbeth, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote about 38 plays (the precise number is uncertain), many of which are regarded as the most exceptional works of drama ever produced, including Romeo and Juliet (1595), Henry V (1599), Hamlet (1601), Othello(1604), King Lear (1606) and Macbeth (1606), as well as a collection of 154 sonnets, which number among the most profound and influential love-poetry in English.
If you enjoyed Macbeth, you might like Hamlet, also available in Penguin Shakespeare.
‘Shakespeare – the nearest thing in incarnation to the eye of God’