This study provides the first in-depth comparison of Shakespeare's and Verdi's Macbeth that is written expressly from the perspective of current Shakespearean criticism whilst striving to do justice to the topic's musicological dimension at the same time. Exploring to what extent the play's matrix of possible readings in distinct from Verdi's two operatic versions, the book seeks to relate such differences both to the historical contexts of the works' geneses and to their respective medial conditions. In doing so, it pays particular attention to shifting negotiations of witchcraft, gender, madness, and kingship. The study eventually broadens its discussion to consider other Shakespearean plays and their operatic offshoots, reflecting on some possible relations between historical and medial difference.
1. Paltering in multiple senses: witchcraft, gender, madness I
2. Fantastical creatures: witchcraft, gender, madness II
3. Restoration and its discontents
4. Shakespeare, opera, difference