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Shakespeare Made Easy: Macbeth

By Alan Durband

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Format: Paperback, 224 pages, 2nd Revised edition Edition
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 December 1984
Full comprehension of the plays is gained from the line-by-line modern English translation given on facing pages. Understanding of the plays is increased as pupils take part in the variety of related activities included in each book. The significance of the plays is reinforced by sections discussing Shakespeare's life, works and theatre. Pupils are encouraged to understand the language, characters, structure and themes of the plays by completion of practical exercises.

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Gr 5-8-These visually appealing, full-color adaptations introduce each title with a well-known quotation from the original work on an illustrated spread that captures the mood and setting of the piece. The stories are retold in panels with text containing an explanation of the characters' motives and a summary of the action taking place positioned beneath each panel. Brief snippets of quotations are enclosed within a few simple speech bubbles. Actual wording from the original works is very limited. Headings at the top of the spreads distill the plot essentials contained on those two pages. Macbeth uses extensive footnotes on each page to define and clarify Shakespearean language. Dramatic outdoor scenes are done in vivid colors, contrasting with night scenes rendered in gray tones. Unique features include historical information on the real King Macbeth and theatrical superstitions associated with what many actors consider an "unlucky play." A somber palette of grays and muted colors sets the mood for Frankenstein. Back matter includes a map of Europe marking the travels of Frankenstein and a chronology of medical and scientific discoveries between the years of 1747 and 1834. These titles might be useful to introduce classics to young readers in a formalized instructional setting.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Shakespeare's tragedy about the ill-fated thane of Cawdor is brought to life via this one-man interpretation from Alan Cumming. Motivated by his scheming wife, Macbeth lusts for and then takes power, which leads to regicide and his own undoing. Building upon his performance in the audio edition of A.J. Hartley and David Hewson's Macbeth: A Novel, Cumming executes a captivating solo performance of this classic play. With an authentic Scottish accent, Cumming ably embodies Lord Macbeth. He shifts from character to character seamlessly, capturing the tone, attitude, and emphasis of each, while providing an increasing intensity that conveys the reprehensible, irreparable nature of the title character's actions. In addition to embracing the various characters, Cumming's powerful performance even elevates the play's stage directions, which-rather than feeling like crude interruptions to the dialogue-slip in smoothly like the knife used to slay King Duncan. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Yale annotated editions of these dramatic polar opposites include loads of textual notes and scholarly introductions, plus essays by Harold Bloom, all for the price of lunch at Mickey Ds. Supersized Shakespeare on the cheap. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

EAN: 9780748702565
ISBN: 0748702563
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Dimensions: 19.5 x 12.7 x 1.3 centimeters (0.19 kg)
Age Range: 5-9 years
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"Macbeth" comes out as one of William Shakespeare's darkest and murkiest plays, most likely as a result of being written during one of Shakespeare's darkest times in his own life. This play strays away from the more common Shakespearean formula that contains a hero and his demise resulting from a specific tragic flaw. In "MacBeth", the title character is not a hero, but rather a villian. MacBeth murders the king of Scotland to bring truth to a prophecy given to him by three witches (the famous "toil and trouble" sisters). After assuming the throne, MacBeth returns to the witches and requests to hear the circumstances of his own death. The witches tell MacBeth he cannot be killed by any "man of woman born." Under a false assumption of near immortality, MacBeth relaxes his gaurd and perhaps displays his own tragic flaw of over confidence.
Focusing on the power corrupt and merciless villain MacBeth and his dastardly and influential wife Lady MacBeth, this play works as a twisted look into a mind poisioned with greed and hate. Though pessimistic and disturbing, this play must not be dismissed. It contains some of the most poetic language and beautiful lines ever to be written. It is no mystery that MacBeth stands as one of the most quoted works in literature. It is however a mystery that Shakespeare could create something so magnificient in a period when he saw life as "...a tale told by an idiot, ful of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

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