Shakespeare Made Easy: Macbeth SC Barron’s


SKU: 17157 Category:


Macbeth (Shakespeare Made Easy) 1st U.S. Edition
by William Shakespeare (Author)

Here are the books that help teach Shakespeare plays without the teacher constantly needing to explain and define Elizabethan terms, slang, and other ways of expression that are different from our own. Each play is presented with Shakespeare’s original lines on each left-hand page, and a modern, easy-to-understand “translation” on the facing right-hand page. All dramas are complete, with every original Shakespearian line, and a full-length modern rendition of the text.

Infamously known as the cursed Scottish play, Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. When General Macbeth is foretold by three witches that he will one day be King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth convinces him to get rid of anyone who could stand in his way including committing regicide. As Macbeth ascends to the throne through bloody murder, he becomes a tyrant consumed by fear and paranoia.

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series; 1st U.S. edition

I consider myself to be a reasonably literate individual but, I have always avoided Shakespeare since I cannot make sense of the text. But now, I have fianally read Macbeth because, with Shakespeare Made Easy each left hand page is written in the original whereas the right hand page is a plain English translation. So now I know, that when a porter says “it makes him stand to and not stand to,” he is not referring about someone standing up on his feet. Instead, it means that alcoholic drinks make a man have an erection but then, lose the erection. How true is that and how cool is it to be able to understand that? Seriously, Macbeth is a great tale of ambition, deception and conscience. Thanks to this innovative book, I was able to read the original, then, after reading each page, I referred to the translation so I could understand. It was fun to read lines in the original, try to work out what I thought it meant and then check whether I was right. I recommend this as a way finally read and appreciate Macbeth.

I won’t even attempt to critique Shakespeare’s work, as some have done here. I’m not reviewing MacBeth, but this particular version of it. As a homeschooling Mom with three highschool students, the only way we could get through Shakespeare’s works is by having a copy of Shakespeare Made Easy on hand. As it is, we completed 5 plays this year – all done orally, with each of us taking several parts. While I think it’s important that my kids read Shakespeare in it’s original format (and they did), I had the Shakespeare Made Easy translation handy so that I could give simple, concise explanations whenever they just didn’t “get it”. I recommend these books for that purpose – not for the watered down versions of these classics, but to make them understandable to the average student who might otherwise find Shakespeare’s works boring and a waste of time (as many students do).

Rounding to corners. 0-8120-3571-2.

Stickers on back cover and spine. Writing on inside cover and throughout book. Yellowing to edges of pages.