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Macbeth (Modern Library Classics) [Kindle Edition]

William Shakespeare , Jonathan Bate , Eric Rasmussen
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.95
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $3.96 (57%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Kindle Edition, August 4, 2009 $2.99  
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Book Description

No dramatist has ever seen with more frightening clarity into the heart and mind of a murderer than has Shakespeare in this compelling tragedy of evil. Taunted into asserting his “masculinity” by his ambitious wife, Macbeth chooses to embrace the Weird Sisters’ prophecy and kill his king–and thus, seals his own doom. Fast-moving and bloody, this drama has the extraordinary energy that derives from a brilliant plot replete with treachery and murder, and from Shakespeare’s compelling portrait of the ultimate battle between a mind and its own guilt.

Each Edition Includes:
• Comprehensive explanatory notes
• Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship
• Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English
• Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories
• An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up–Each book includes a brief introduction to the play, followed by an illustrated cast of characters and a glossary of literary terms. Annotated text from the play alternates with black-and-white illustrations of selected scenes, in the style of a graphic novel. It is unclear why the editors did not make these true graphic novels throughout. The black-and-white comic art is undistinguished, and as most of it simply depicts two characters in conversation, it does little to clarify what is going on. The first two plays in particular offer marvelous possibilities for the illustrator, so the ho-hum comics are disappointing. Think about it boxes contain study questions such as, What has worried Macbeth? and boxed Literary terms give examples like, ‘Hermia...Hermia...Helena...' is...alliteration. Teacher's guides accompany the books. Those interested in a graphic-novel interpretation might want to consider Arthur Byron Cover's Macbeth (Puffin, 2005), which is illustrated in manga style and would probably appeal more to reluctant readers. These titles might be useful for teaching Shakespeare to reluctant readers, but a better choice might be a simple annotated Shakespeare such as a Sparknotes No Fear Shakespeare series (Spark), supplemented by Bruce Coville's William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1999) and William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (2003, both Penguin), which are picture-book prose adaptations, or Adam McKeown's Romeo and Juliet: Young Reader's Shakespeare (Sterling, 2004).–Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Praise for William Shakespeare: Complete Works

“A remarkable edition, one that makes Shakespeare’s extraordinary accomplishment more vivid than ever.”
–James Shapiro, professor, Columbia University, bestselling author of A Year in the Life of Shakespeare: 1599

“Two eminent Shakespeareans . . . have applied modern editing techniques and recent scholarship to correct and update the First Folio. . . . Superb.”
–The New York Times

“A feast of literary and historical information.”
–The Wall Street Journal

“I look forward to using it over many years, enjoying Jonathan Bate’s perceptive comments, trusting Eric Rasmussen’s textual scholarship.”
–Peter Holland, president of the Shakespeare Association of America and editor of Shakespeare Survey

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3250 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (August 4, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002JRQM54
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #598,408 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yale's may be the best edition of Macbeth December 30, 2005
By kaream
Virtually all editions of Macbeth will have at least some annotations. Rummaging through five different editions, I preferred this Yale University Press version, edited by Burton Raffel, as having the most comprehensive and comprehensible notes, as well as an excellent introduction to Shakespeare's play. Raffel not only explains the meanings of obscure words, but also gives brief notes pertaining to relevant history, geography, stage directions, etc, that are rarely addressed as fully by other editors. In addition, Raffel frequently gives the proper way to stress the syllables in a line when reading it aloud, which can be extremely helpful. (However, in most places these stresses need to be very subtle, so that you don't sound like "taDUM taDUM taDUM".) And Yale's page layout is among the clearest that I've seen.

As a bonus, this edition includes at the back a long essay on the play by Harold Bloom. This is not an uninteresting commentary, but Bloom desperately needs a good editor. His essay is not only at least three times longer than it should be, but is startlingly repetitious. Yale would have been wise to have asked Bloom for a rewrite.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful edition of a great play August 14, 2005
Macbeth has always been one of Shakespeare's most popular plays. It is vivid, has blood & murder, magic, visions, treachery, and just deserts. I mean, what is not to love? The play moves along quickly and isn't one of the longer plays. For all these reasons and more, audiences love it.

But there is a lot more to the play than the plot outline might suggest. Shakespeare brilliantly works out the subtleties of character through the action, interactions, and self-discussions in the play. It isn't a simple "action" play, it is also a masterwork of revealing the character of the characters even when they are themselves unaware of the trap they are leaping into.

I am partial to the Arden editions because I trust the text, love the extensive notes, and the introductory and additional material that helps give the play context and talks about sources Shakespeare almost certainly used. In this case Holinshed's "Chronicles of Scotland". Throughout this edition there are also discussions of the textural problems of this play: where some things seem to be missing, what might be interpolations, and so forth.

This is a very useful edition of a great play.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely Annotated version of Shakepeare's Classic January 10, 2010
Many readers of Shakespeare spend hours trying to navigate the Olde English. When they finally grasp the language (seldom before Act III) they are treated to a rare experience in poetic power. The pages begin flying past as the master's prose engulfs our attention. But too many have already quit in frustration or arrived arrive exhausted. Enter this nicely practical edition for the tragedy of MacBeth. Readers gain knowledge and proficiency from the excellent annotationns and helping points, as if a gentle hand is guiding us over the hump. We still need to work, but we get there faster. Then we enjoy the genuis of Shakespeare as his prose begins to fly. MacBeth is a stark tale of raw ambition, deceit, murder, passion, and madness. We follow the evil hands of MacBeth and Lady MacBeth as they lust for power. "None of woman born shall harm MacBeth," the deceitful witches tell them, along with a warning to "beware of McDuff." Hearing what they want to hear, MacBeth and Lady MacBeth proceed on a trail of pure evil. After shedding blood, their assumption of power does not provide the rewards that MacBeth and his Lady expected. Instead they find a dark spiral that descends into fear, guilt, and madness. Shakespeare apparently penned this classic in the first decade of the 1600's; now some four centuries later it remains a gripping, powerful tale. And this version should help readers "get there" a little faster, at which the master's prose takes us in stunning, poetic flow.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware November 8, 2006
Format:Perfect Paperback
The subtitle is "A facing-pages translation into contemporary English" and it is not a line by line translation, it simply has short scene summaries, a disappointment given this description. Also it would be more accurate to call this a pamphlet rather than a book since it is 30 pages of text and 10 pages of bibliography and appendices. I bought it to supplement classroom material and ironically found out that appearances are not reality!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My New Favorite Shakespeare Publishers February 3, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a high school English teacher. I order 150 copies of various volumes of Shakespeare plays for my students every year. I've worked with 5 or 6 different editions/publishers of Macbeth over the last 11 years. This new series surpasses the other editions I've used by leaps and bounds.

The play, of course, is fabulous and timeless. This review is for the book though. My students like holding it, they are excited to have a better book than their peers in other teachers' classes. I highly recommend the Modern Library Classics series of Shakespeare's plays.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Nice Version of A Veritable Work of Genius February 14, 2010
Format:Library Binding
I am taking a Shakespeare course at my high school and this was the issued version of Macbeth I got. I like that the book starts out by talking about Will's life and times. It helps put things into historical context. Readers need to know that King James VI of Scotland and I of England had just ascended the thrown, and that Shakespeare would be performing this with his fellow actors infront of him. They need to know that attempts to take the King's life using "black magic" were made, and tales of witches and sorcery abounded. It also helps you learn how to read Shakespearean verse and has an interesting perspective essay written by Susan Snyder which is helpful if, after reading the play, you're wondering what to make of all the sorcery, evil, and murder.
All in all, I love this book. I didn't want a book that "translated" Shakespearean verse into modern English, because that actually hurts more than it helps. You may "understand what's going on" if you read something like that, but Shakespeare chose the words he did for a reason: he rhymed, made allusions, used alliteration, metaphors, similes, backspeak, poetic compression, and all the rest, for a reason. And you can't find that complexity when you use the modern English versions.
It couldn't hurt to also buy Macbeth (Cliffs Complete) (Paperback) too...It has the text on one page, and helpful definitions of outdated words on the adjacent page, as well as interpretations of certain references and allusions. The text is a bit different (some word and less poetic compression) and there are additional accompanying definitions. If there's one thing a reader should do when reading Macbeth, it's make notes and annotate!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic in a pocket size.
Pocket sized collectible book. Great as a gift,
Published 4 months ago by Alicia Sullivan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
print to small
Published 5 months ago by Melissa Wilmore
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Lage and good quality..
Published 6 months ago by Nancy S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great play. Great condition, and VERY timely. Thanks!
Published 6 months ago by Josephine Siu
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As promised
Published 7 months ago by robert martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 7 months ago by George King
4.0 out of 5 stars Otherwise it was in good condition.
I bought this specifically for the cover, however it came in with a different cover than advertised. Otherwise it was in good condition.
Published 7 months ago by Halie
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Kindle version of Shakespeare's plays.
If you are looking for a good Kindle edition of Shakespeare, buy the Modern Library versions edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Grant
1.0 out of 5 stars Missing important context
The text isn't formatted in a way that informs the reader as to how the lines are meant to be read. For instance, in the passage toward the beginning of Act2, Scene 2 where Lady... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Joseph Pescatello
FABULOUS! Rex Gibson series will transform the way you teach Shakespeare's plays. The techniques, tested in hundreds of classrooms in Great Britain, engage ALL teens (AP, ESL,... Read more
Published 17 months ago by J.S. Kelley
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