Shakespeare's Macbeth is one of the greatest tragic dramas the world has known. Macbeth himself, a brave warrior, is fatally impelled by supernatural forces, by his proud wife, and by his own burgeoning ambition.The play is set in Scotland. Returning from battle with his companion Banquo, the nobleman Macbeth meets a group of witches. They predict that Macbeth will first become thane (baron) of Cawdor and then king of Scotland. Urged on by Lady Macbeth, his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan. But Duncan's sons, Malcolm and Donalbain, escape. Macbeth then seizes the throne of Scotland. But Macbeth has no peace. In a bid to prevent Banquo's descendants from becoming kings according to the witches' prophecy, Macbeth arranges for him to be murdered, along with his son Fleance. Macbeth's men kill Banquo, but Fleance escapes. Haunted by Banquo's ghost, Macbeth seeks counsel from the witches. They tell him to beware of Macduff, another Scottish nobleman. Macbeth is now hardened to killing. He orders the murder of Macduff's wife and children. By contrast, Lady Macbeth, who had encouraged her husband to embark upon his path of slaughter, goes mad with guilt and dies. Macduff's army attacks Macbeth's forces. Macduff meets Macbeth in single combat and kills him. Malcolm, Duncan's son, is then proclaimed king of
Believed to have been written in 1603, Shakespeare's Othello is a tragedy that puts the playwright's prodigious creative gifts on full display. Based loosely on a Renaissance-era Italian tale, Othello follows the stormy relationship of the Moorish general Othello and his lovely wife Desdemona. Addressing timeless themes of love and betrayal, as well as surprisingly contemporary concepts such as race-based stereotypes, Othello is a satisfying read for modern-day fans of the Bard.
While staying at his friend Leonato's home, Claudio falls in love with Hero, Leonato's beautiful daughter, and they agree to marry. In the meantime, they decide to trick their friends Benedick and Beatrice—who have nothing but insults for each other—into falling in love as well. However, Don John, the illegitimate brother of Leonato's close friend Don Pedro, won't stand for such happiness. He tricks Claudio into thinking Hero has been unfaithful. Claudio's hasty overreaction and Leonato's redemption of Hero wield all the tools of a romantic comedy, making a story that is, indeed, much ado about nothing. This unabridged version of William Shakespeare's delightful play was first published in England in 1600.
This major new edition of Shakespeare's greatest tragedy of love argues that that play is ultimately Juliet's. The play text is expertly edited and the on-page commentary notes discuss issues of staging, theme, meaning and Shakespeare's use of his sources to give the reader deep and engaging insights into the play. The richly illustrated introduction looks at the play's exceptionally beautiful and complex language and focuses on the figure of Juliet as being at its centre. René Weis discusses the play's critical, stage and film history, including West Side Story and Baz Luhrmann's seminal film Romeo + Juliet. This is an authoritative edition from a leading scholar, giving the reader a penetrating and wide-ranging insight into this ever popular play.
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