46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Yale's may be the best edition of Macbeth,
This review is from: Macbeth (The Annotated Shakespeare) (Paperback)
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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Initial post: Nov 2, 2009 10:32:33 PM PST
Thanks for your recommendation as well as your comment that Bloom needs an editor. I opened the book at random, and Bloom uses the word "proleptic" on three consecutive pages (pp. 183-5). Maybe his editor could buy him a thesaurus for Christmas.
Posted on Nov 19, 2009 9:39:15 AM PST
The Concise Critic: says:
Now that I have reread Macbeth, I am ready to reread it (and better understand it) again. I've have chosen to order this text because of your review. Thanks!
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