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Macbeth is the most concentrated and intense of Shakespeare's tragedies. This dark, thrilling drama of intrigue, witchcraft and murder can be seen as a profound exploration of evil, a powerful study of psychological turmoil, a penetrating examination of urgent political issues and a searching enquiry into masculinity and femininity. Over four centuries the play has attracted a huge body of commentary, generated a wide range of fascinating interpretations and provoked vigorous controversy.

In this Reader's Guide, Nicolas Tredell considers the key critical responses to Macbeth from the early seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries. He provides concise accounts and assessments of the most vital commentaries and interpretations, setting them in their critical, theoretical and historical contexts. Lively and authoritative, this survey is an invaluable resource for students, teachers and all those who wish to deepen their grasp of the crucial concerns of Macbeth criticism and to engage in the ongoing critical debates about the play.

About the Author:
Nicolas Tredell teaches drama, literature, film and cultural studies at the University of Sussex

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403999252
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/22/2006
  • Series: Readers' Guides to Essential Criticism
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,193,711
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

NICOLAS TREDELL is Consultant Editor of the Palgrave Macmillan Readers' Guides and has produced five Guides for the series. He has published widely on literary criticism and theory - his previous publications include The Critical Decade (1993), Conversations with Critics (1994) and a history of film theory, Cinemas of the Mind (2002). For many years he has taught and convened Sussex University literature courses, most recently on Shakespeare.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries : the development of Macbeth criticism 6
Ch. 2 The nineteenth century : romantic and Victorian Macbeth 28
Ch. 3 The early twentieth century : tragedy, psychoanalysis and imagery 43
Ch. 4 The mid-twentieth century : history, nature and evil 68
Ch. 5 The later twentieth century : politics, violence and ideology 94
Ch. 6 The later twentieth century : language, subjectivity and subversion 119
Ch. 7 The later twentieth century : men, women and witches 130
Conclusion : the twenty-first century and future directions 150
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