In 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne, becoming James I of England. London was alive with an interest in all things Scottish, and Shakespeare turned to Scottish history for material. He found a spectacle of violence and stories of traitors advised by witches and wizards, echoing James’s belief in a connection between treason and witchcraft.
In depicting a man who murders to become king, Macbeth teases us with huge questions. Is Macbeth tempted by fate, or by his or his wife's ambition? Why does their success turn to ashes?
Like other plays, Macbeth speaks to each generation. Its story was once seen as that of a hero who commits an evil act and pays an enormous price. Recently, it has been applied to nations that overreach themselves and to modern alienation. The line is blurred between Macbeth’s evil and this opponents' good, and there are new attitudes toward both witchcraft and gender.
The authoritative edition of Macbeth from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, is now available as an eBook. Features include:
· The exact text of the printed book for easy cross-reference
· Hundreds of hypertext links for instant navigation
· Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
· Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
· Scene-by-scene plot summaries
· A key to famous lines and phrases
· An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
· Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
· An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play