Macbeth: Texts and Contexts (Bedford Shakespeare Series) / Edition 1

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This teaching edition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth reprints the Bevington edition of the play accompanied by six sets of primary documents and illustrations thematically arranged to offer a richly textured understanding of early modern culture and Shakespeare’s work within that culture. The texts include facsimiles of period documents, excerpts from King James’s writings on politics, contemporary writings on the nature of kingship and tyrannicide, Puritan and Catholic tracts, conduct book literature, and contemporary witchcraft pamphlets.

Presents the original text of Shakespeare's play side by side with a modern version, with discussion questions, role-playing scenarios, and other study activities.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Based on an HBO animated series, these condensations emphasize the dramatic content of some of Shakespeare's best known works. As abridged by Garfield in consultation with a panel of scholars, the books on the whole retain the magic of Shakespeare's vision and remain true to his poetics. Linguistic fluidity is perforce sacrificed (omitted lines are presented as italicized summaries interspersed throughout the dialogue), but these versions should still fire children's imaginations. Though the artwork varies in quality, the Eastern European illustrators generally capture the underlying theatrics. Palettes are subdued for the dramas, and appropriately brighter for the comedies (though the tone reproductions frequently seem off). Several plays' illustrations have a cartoony appearance; a few exhibit the stilted look of old Classics Comics. While the plays forgo their complexities--many subplots are omitted--as they become more linear in their themes (Macbeth loses much of his humanity, Romeo and Juliet is pared of its politics), their nobility shines through in these visualized introductions. One hopes that readers will be encouraged to move on to the originals. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
Library Journal
This production of Romeo and Juliet featuring Kenneth Branagh and Sir John Gielgud is a superb contribution to the field of classics on cassette. The stunning performance by the Renaissance Theatre Company captures all the color and emotion of Shakespeare's eloquent tragedy of young love. With Samantha Bond as Juliet, Derek Jacobi as Mercutio, and Judi Dench as Nurse, the play, which is set in 16th-century Verona, contains some of the most passionate dialog ever written. An excellent musical score by Patrick Doyle accompanies the actors, as well as a full array of authentic sound effects. The pounding of hooves, the chiming of church bells, and the clashing of angry swords enrich this outstanding listening experience. A 24-page booklet complete with sketches and photos of the actors, a synopsis of the play, and background information is included in the package. Highly recommended for most libraries.-Gretchen Browne, Rockville Centre P.L., N.Y.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-7--Macbeth has strong appeal for young audiences and Coville's lucid retelling captures much of it. Aided by the short, intense, and uninterrupted story line of the play, the reteller deftly weaves many of the most familiar quotes with his own dramatic narrative. In a short preface that sketches a quick history of the play's popularity, Coville invokes cultural literacy as one of his missions. Despite this heavy burden, he carries off the telling with grace. Kelley's dark, evocative pastels reflect and intensify the ominous mood. Glowering hillsides, gloomy interiors, the handsome and doomed Macbeths, and truly ghastly witches create a mood worthy of the play. The only unfortunate image is the weak-chinned Macbeth reacting to Banquo's ghost with a look more comic than horrified. Darkness prevails until the final painting of light morning skies over the hills. Coville's muscular sentences, full of dramatic word choices, make this a good read-aloud choice. While not avoiding the horrors in the story, the reteller does not dwell on the goriest moments, letting the worst, such as the slaughtering of Macduff's children, happen offstage. The accurate depiction of the story will give older students or casual playgoers a good quick review. If it doesn't end up lost among the picture books, this retelling could have many uses.--Sally Margolis, formerly at Deerfield Public Library, IL
Directors Welles, Nunn, and Polanski, and actors Garrick, Siddons, Olivier, and McKellen, are among those mentioned in an analysis of stage and screen productions of Macbeth. After a brief survey of earlier productions, focuses on the 20th century. Includes a few stills and drawings. distributed by St. Martin's. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312144548
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Series: Bedford Shakespeare Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 394
  • Sales rank: 356,901
  • Product dimensions: 5.99 (w) x 8.21 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Read an Excerpt

This book is written in Spanish. Macbeth es una de las grandes tragedias de William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Macbeth, el gran general del ejército del rey de Escocia, regresa victorioso después de una campaña de apaciguamiento cuando sucumbe a la tentación del poder. Desde entonces un mundo tenebroso y mágico, de apariciones y desconfianzas, sembrará de crímenes la pacífica vida de los escoceses hasta que Macbeth muere como habían viticinado las brujas.
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Table of Contents

About the Series
About This Volume
List of Illustrations




1. Representations of Macbeth
Early Narratives
John Major, From A History of Greater Britain
George Buchanan, From History of Scotland
Raphael Holinshed, From The Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland
The Cultural Afterlife of Shakespeare's Macbeth
Simon Forman, From Book of Plays
Thomas Middleton, From The Witch
From "The Story of Macbeth," in A Collection of Divers and Remarkable Stories
Sir William Davenant, From Macbeth, A Tragedy
Thomas Duffett, Epilogue to The Empress of Morocco

2. Discourses of Sovereignty
The Succession Controversy
R. Doleman [Robert Parsons], From A Conference about the Next Succession to the Crown of England
Henry Constable, From A Discovery of a Counterfeit Conference
Sir John Hayward, From An Answer to the First Part of a Certain Conference
From Succession Act
The Jacobean Theory of Kingship
King James I, From Basilikon Doron
King James I, From The True Law of Free Monarchies
King James I, From A Speech to the Lords and Commons of the Parliament at Whitehall
Sir Robert Filmer, From Patriarcha: Or the Natural Power of Kings
Royal Charisma and the King's Touch
William Tooker, From The Divine Power or Gift of Healing
William Clowes, From A Right Fruitful and Approved Treatise
John Howson, From A Sermon Preached at St. Mary's in Oxford, the 17. Day of November, 1602

3. Treason and Resistance
Resistance in Theory
John Ponet, From A Short Treatise of Politic Power
From An Homily against Disobedience and Willfull Rebellion
George Buchanan, From The Powers of the Crown in Scotland
Philippe du Plessis Mornay, From A Defense of Liberty against Tyrants
Resistance in Action
Nicolo Molin, Reports to the Doge and Senate
King James I, From A Speech to Parliament
Sir Edward Coke, From Speech at the Trial of Father Henry Garnet
Henry Garnet, From A Treatise of Equivocation
Robert Parsons, From A Treatise Tending to Mitigation towards Catholic Subjects in England

4. The Cultural Construction of Scotland
William Harrison, From The Description of Scotland
William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act I, Scene 2
Sir Thomas Craig, From A Treatise on the Union of the British Realms
Fynes Moryson, From An Itinerary
Sir Anthony Weldon, From A Perfect Description of the People and Country of Scotland
John Taylor, From The Penniless Pilgrimage, Or the Moneyless Perambulation

5. Witchcraft and Prophecy
Discourses of Witchcraft
Reginald Scot, From The Discovery of Witchcraft
George Gifford, From A Dialogue Concerning Witches and Witchcrafts
News from Scotland
King James I, From Daemonology, In Form of a Dialogue
An Act against Conjuration, Witchcraft, and Dealing with Evil and Wicked Spirits
From An Act against Fond and Fantastical Prophecies
Henry Howard, From A Defensative against the Poison of Supposed Prophecies
Reginald Scot, From The Discovery of Witchcraft
William Perkins, From A Discourse of the Damned Art of Witchcraft
Michel de Montaigne, From Of Prognostications
Francis Bacon, From Of Prophecies

6. Discources of the Feminine
Reginald Scot, From The Discovery of Witchcraft
Philip Barrough, From The Method of Physic
Edmund Jorden, From A Brief Discourse of a Disease Called the Suffocation of the Mother
John Sadler, From The Sick Woman's Private Looking-Glass
Helkiah Crooke,, From Microcosmographia: A Description of the Body of Man
Elizabeth Clinton, From The Countess of Lincoln's Nursery
James Guillimeau, From Childbirth, Or the Happy Delivery of Women



1. Genealogy of the Kings of England and Scotland at the Time of the Play
2. The English Succession
3. The Scottish Succession
4. Genealogy og the Scottish Descent from Banquo by John Leslie
5. "Sergeant at Arms, Slain by Rebels," Woodcut from Raphael Holinshed's Cronicles, 1577
6. "Macdonwald Slayeth His Wife and Children, and Lastly Himself," Woodcut from Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles
7. "Macbeth, Banquo, and the Three Weird Sisters," Woodcut from Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles
8. "Macbeth Upsurpeth ther Crown, ," Woodcut from Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles
9. Genealogy of the Contemporary Scottish Decent by John Leslie
10. Genealogy of the English Decent by Robert Parsons
11. King James VI and I in 1605, Attributed to John de Critz the Elder
12. Page in James's Handwriting from the Manuscript of Basilikon Doron
13. Frontispiece to the Collected Works of King James, 1616
14. Frontispiece to Mischief's Murphy, John Vicar's 1617 Account of the Gunpowder Plot
15. Key Gunpowder Plot Conspirators and Their Fates, from a Dutch Engraving
16. England Buffeted by Enemies, from John Vicars's Mischief's Mystery
17. "The Execution of the Gunpowder Plot Conspirators," a Print by Nicholas de Visscher
18. Map of Scotland, from John Speed's The Theatre of the Empire of Greart Britain, 1611-12
19. "The True Picture of One Pict," from Thomas Hariot's A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia,1590
20. "The True Pictures of a Woman Pict," from Thomas Hariot's A Brief and true Report of the New Found Land of Virginia
21. Incidents from News from Scotland, 1591
22. James Interrogated the Witches, Woodcut from News from Scotland
23. Scenes from Doctor Fian's Life, Woodcut from News from Scotland
24. "Cure" for Womb Disease, from Helkiah Crooke's Microcosmographia, 1615
25. Frontipiece to John John Sandler, The Sick Woman's Private Looking Glass, 1636
26. Title Page to Helkiah Crooke's Microcosmographia
27. Female Reproductive Organs, From Jacob Rueff's The Expert Midwife, 1637

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