This edition of Macbeth, edited by Stephen Orgel, was redesigned in an easy-to-read format that preserves the favorite features of the original. It includes essays on the theatrical world of Shakespeare and texts of Shakespeare, an introduction to the play itself, and a note on the text used for this edition of it.
This is part of Hewitt’s Lightning Literature & Composition curriculum (See Related Items below). From our Guide by Elizabeth Kamath:
Macbeth takes place at roughly the same time as Hamlet, but while Hamlet was a legendary figure, Macbeth was historical. (Also, though the original legend for Hamlet was from the twelfth century, Hamlet has a very Renaissance feel to it; Macbeth has a mood to match its times.) Shakespeare?s source for Macbeth (and for many of his other plays) was Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland by Raphael Holinshed. The historical Duncan was killed in 1040, so Macbeth is set over 500 years prior to Shakespeare?s time. Again, Shakespeare alters time and characters for dramatic effect, here even more substantially than in Julius Caesar. (For example, Duncan and his sons are much older in the play than they were historically, little time passes in the play although the historical events took over fifteen years to unfold, and the murder itself is taken from a different bit of Scottish history which doesn?t involve Macbeth at all (Macbeth did kill Duncan, but in battle).