Talk:Macbeth/Archive 1

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full text?

Is this full-text reproduction really worthwhile? How about providing a link to Project Gutenberg, as is done for A Modest Proposal? This doesn't seem appropriate for an encyclopedia, especially when there is already a working and well-established project dedicated to this sort of activity. -- MattBrubeck

Personally, I believe it is worthwhile. I'm in favour of adding selected, relevant primary sources to Wikipedia (such as The Origin of Species), not duplicating the work of Project Gutenberg. Eventually, I would like to see Wikipedia evolve to a point where, if a passage is discussed in an article, one click will bring up the relevant work so that it can be read in context. Of course, if no one else agrees with me, I won't get many sources in anyway. ;-) -- Stephen Gilbert
I wonder why external links are any worse than putting whole-text into Wikipedia? If the model really IS an encyclopedia, this is the other end of the "Wikipedia is not a dictionary" statement. Is Wikipedia a whole library? --MichaelTinkler

As someone who tried to add some texts, there are some caveats: :)

  • There is a size limit on edited pages. At least one Shakespeare play wouldn't be accepted as a whole.
  • Project Gutenberg has good mirrors. Let them take the load for big files, so link to their mirrors page.

I do believe that short texts, like "Modest Proposal" and Casey at the bat are worthwhile additions, though, since they can be digested almost as part of the article. -- GWO


Under one of the sections, the text "GO GATORS!!!" appears, and yet it isn't there when I try to edit the section. 07:01, 4 December 2006 (UTC) Hey... it looks like somebody fixed it between when I saw and when I clicked "edit"! Whaddayaknow? 07:02, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


Perhaps the problem with the texts on Project Guttenberg is that they can't be changed. Wikipedia can be a perfect medium for those of us who believe we can write improvements to the works of Darwin and Shakespeare. If Shakespeare wants to put "Macbeth" on Wikipedia he has to accept that it will be improved by some very fine editors. ("MacBird" is already dated.) I can think of lots of improvements to the Bible, and there's a clause in the United States Constution that could be clarified so that the greedheads can't go on extending copyrights forever. Eclecticology

WHAT!!! Improve on Shakespeare?! If a contributor to an article wants to present a work in context, that is fine -- BUT we should NEVER change what Shakespeare, Darwin, the authors of the Bible said or what is stated in the US Constituition etc. I do believe you were joking. If that is the case, then what you state is hilarious (although you do have a very dry sense of humor). What is needed, is a method to display relevant text, in say maybee a text box, that is not directly editable in edit mode. One would upload a text file perhaps, and link to it in an article. Not the best solution but it would be a neat utility. --maveric149

That's the problem with the pedia... there's no way to prevent someone rewriting Shakespeare to say whatever they want it to!

To be or not to be... but enjoy Coca-Cola! *smirk* -- Tarquin

I am he Macbeth 02:44, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Maybe they meant add in annotations - a lot of Shakespeare isn't very accessible, simply because it has loads of archaic language in it, or little phrasings a modern reader might miss. I know I would have missed a great deal of the depth in Macbeth if it wasn't for the footnotes and annotations printed in my book. - Ouwl

I'm removing the bit about Macduff's mopther being dead. As far as I can remember it's "from his mother's womb untimely pluck'd" -- she wasn't necessarily dead. -- Tarquin

The text certainly indicates that he was born by Caesarean, which is hardly a refined practice in this age...
How about some famous or just generally brilliant quotes ( I can think of a good few)
I added an essay on evil in Macbeth which I did quite recently (GCSE); is this kind of thing "allowed" without major editing - it's not rubbish!

When I took Shakespeare back in the 70's, we were taught that the "from his mother's womb untimely pluck'd" meant that he had been aborted and left in a ditch to die. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:34, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

A Different Perspective

1. The editions of Shakespeare on the web do not match print editions. However, as an actor, I would love to correct memememe some noncontroversial errors. We could even eventually have "View: Folio, Quarto, Combined, and Recomended." Micheal Hart's father used to make modifications to Gutenberg's text as an editor, not as a writer. Micheal Hart's son is less willing to make changes.
2. It's "from his mother's womb untimely ripp'd [not stressed]." and it is a perfectly valid historical note to say that Cesarian operations ended with the mother bleeding to death--although we should not say *ever* that that was part of the play--as plays and the history they intended to portray often differed. I will read your essay Anon. and tell you what I think.

Was there a Macbeth II of Scotland? If not, why do you say Macbeth I?

There was no Macbeth II.Fire Star 04:58, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Well, no, they called it Macbeth's Revenge. :) RickK 05:06, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

There're some parts of this article which reads like a high school attempt at a literature assignment (See section "Concept of Evil"). Interesting, but seriously not particularly insightful. Surely, for one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, we can come up with better? Mandel 9 May 2004

I'd certainly agree that that section is not up the standard Wikipedia aspires to. But more to the point - it strikes me as exactly not the kind of material I'd hope to find in an encyclopedia; too waffly, too much opinion, not enough fact. What I think the ideal would be, for Macbeth and other literary works, is a section 'historical survey of Macbeth criticism'. i.e. "Johnson, in his Miscellaneous Observations on the Tragedy of Macbeth (1745) focussed on [...] but Coleridge thought [...] Bradley started a tradition of reading the tragedies as..." and so on. But I don't have the expertise to write such a survey. Harry R 09:57, 10 May 2004 (UTC)
Agree. I'll like to do so myself, but think the task might well be filled by someone who is more qualified to filling the gaping hole.
The conclusion of the section is rather inept. "Evil is created and influenced by others; no one man can be Evil."...Huh? Not exactly clarifying. Mandel - 10 May 2004
PS. Realized, from reading above, that the section is written for GCSE. Not bad, but I still think the last sentence needs ironing out. Mandel

Looks like another GCSE essay has crept in. See "recurrent motifs" section. Mandel 08:20, Dec 25, 2004 (UTC)

Where did it go?

While Malcolm does flee to England, Donalbain heads off to Ireland and not to England with Malcolm as the article suggested.

"MALCOLM What will you do? Let's not consort with them: To show an unfelt sorrow is an office Which the false man does easy. I'll to England.

DONALBAIN To Ireland, I; our separated fortune Shall keep us both the safer: where we are, There's daggers in men's smiles: the near in blood, The nearer bloody."

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:13, 28 May 2005

Is Macbeth really the shortest man?

The article says Macbeth is the shortest play by Shakespeare. The article on the The Comedy of Errors claims the same. Which is true? 10:39, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC) Checked this now. The Comedy of Errors is indeed the shortest, and many comedies are shorter than Macbeth, but Macbeth is the shortest tragedy. 08:26, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)

If one doesn't count the Thomas Middleton additions as part of the text, does Macbeth qualify as the shortest play of all? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:13, 28 May 2005

Better English?

This article could have been wirtten in better English, providing a better insight and understanding of Shakespeare's story. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 13:18, 13 April 2005

Well then, you'd better start working on it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by The Singing Badger (talkcontribs) 19:40, 13 April 2005
And talking of that, English or American? Surely Shakespeare of all subjects deserves to refer to Theatre, not Theater (and I'm not going to update it just for that!)

Number774 (talk) 20:36, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I am. --El Ingles (talk) 20:39, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

the scottish play

maybe a note about the so-called curse? --gb 17:36, August 20, 2005 (UTC)

If you happen to be London, you should have a look at the Shakespeare guided tour in the Globe Theatre. I remember something like the article states was said (no, the sentence in the article is not from me) but I can't remember what exactly the guide said. Sorry.NightBeAsT 17:55, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
ah, skipped right over it --gb 18:09, August 20, 2005 (UTC)


The article currently says:

"Some think that the play was written to appease King James, and this may in part be true, but it also seems to poke fun at him. The play is loosely based on true events. The character Banquo is an ancestor of King James, and in reality he was the one who wanted to kill the king, but in Shakespeare's version Macbeth is the one who kills the king. The play could be mocking King James' line. Shakespeare also mocks the idea of King James' "Divine right of King," saying that it's ridiculous."

I am sure that this paragraph contains several misstatements, but I don't feel I know enough to rewrite it authoritatively.

  • "The play is loosely based on true events" to the extend that Macbeth existed, had a wife, killed Duncan and became King of Scotland. That is loose by any standard of looseness.
  • It was obviously politically expedient to put a reference to James' descent into the play, but what is he supposed to have needed appeasing for? (or did the writer just choose an inapposite word?).
  • The character Banquo is presented as an ancesor of King James, but I don't believe that anybody is in a position to say anything about him "in reality", since there is no evidence that he existed, and he does not appear to figure in any of the primary sources about the historical Macbeth.

I would be inclined to replace the paragraph by something like:

The parade of eight kings which the witches show Macbeth in a vision in Act IV is generally taken to represent the Stuart line, and be intended as a compliment to King James VI of Scotland, recently crowned as James I of England.


ColinFine 15:19, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

I would be very glad if you would improve it. I did my best and hoped that other's improve or add on to it. Thank you. -Demosthenes- 21:03, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Done. I've used the para I suggested, so it has lost some of your suggestions as well, but unless you are going to support them from sources I think they're better absent.

ColinFine 23:24, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Thank you, I thought something should be there to address King James, but I admit that this is not my area of expertise and I am glad for help -Demosthenes- 04:33, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Act, Scene and Line References

The act, scene and line references in this article seem a bit all-over-the place. I think there should be some sort of standard.

Anyone care to comment?

Yes I think so too- are there even any references? Anyway, they are usually done like this:


/If twere done when 'tis done, then twere well it were done quickly/ (I, vii: 1-2)

I was told that you are only to use those slashes instead of quotation marks when quoting shakespeare. the reference should go in brackets (ACT in capital roman numerals, scene in lower case roman numerals, then : and lines whatever- whatever) but i have realised that the lines are different depending on what edition of shakespeare you have i think  ?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:49, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

what is this about

i do not understand

  • Have you looked at Wikipedia:About? If you've any questions about what goes on here, just browse around for a while and you'll probably get the idea pretty quickly. You can always post a question at my talk page: User talk:AndyJones. Best wishes, AndyJones 20:20, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

this is just a massively crazy play.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:46, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

External links

Given there's a readable version of the play in Wikisource, there's no need to list so many sites offering the text. "Wikipedia always prefers internal links over external links". (Wikipedia:External links) I suggest removing most of such links. Sciurinæ 14:09, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree with you. Have cut this way back. Where do we stand on slashdoc as an external link? I let it stand. What do other people think? AndyJones 22:03, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

A link that might be appropriate
Here is an interesting link I think you all might like. It is to a site with lots of public domain literature, including Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, etc. along with a really innovative hypertext linking engine. Anyone can read and anyone can also contribute to the commentary of the texts on the site. Check out the Macbeth page:

I might've posted the link myself, but I'm beginning to learn that such edits tend to be deleted immediately. In my estimation, the commentary on the site,, is interesting as well as accessible to the average reader. If you read a scene or two and agree, I'd encourage someone with more Wikipedia clout than myself to post on the Shakespeare page or just the Macbeth page. Let me know what you all think. I'd love to hear your thoughts.--Andrewmagliozzi (talk)

Speaking for Shakespeare?

"Later the "dagger of the mind" (2.1.39) that Macbeth sees, and cannot grasp, represents his masculinity. If he can grasp it, then he can kill Duncan and become king. When it comes time to kill Duncan, Lady Macbeth cannot do it, saying, "Had he not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done't." (Act 2, Scene 2) Shakespeare is saying that a woman, being not as masculine as a man, cannot kill directly."

This is clearly someone's opinion, not fact. How can anyone decide what Shakespeare meant? The "Shakespeare is saying" part should be changed to something like "a common interpretation is that..." There's no way anyone can know for sure what he was "saying."

  • I agree with you. Feel free to remove it altogether. AndyJones 19:39, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

The audio version.

Holy crapamoly. It's read well, but the compression is freaking horrible. Is there still a better-quality version kicking around? It's kind of hard to even listen to...

There is a time and place for Glitch ;D -- 06:00, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

What audio recording are you referring to? I haven't been able to find much online. If you're talking about this then agreed, very hard to listen to. --Luinfana 14:52, 09 July 2008 (UTC)

Most popular of Shakespeare's plays?

The opening sentence of the article has me stratching my head. I would confidently assume Romeo & Juliet is Shakespeare's most popular work and known to most people of all walks of life. A person with an average education would have heard of Romeo & Juliet moreso than Macbeth by far. Throw

An argument could be made for Hamlet over Macbeth as well. I wouldn't mind seeing such phrases struck from all the articles on the plays; "Among the most popular of Shakespeare's plays" could be safely applied to all three. - dharmabum 00:11, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
It would strike me as a bit odd that one would refer to Macbeth as his most popular play -- I would agree that Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet would no doubt be more popular. However, it's pretty much generally accepted that his most popular plays (or at least the most well-known) are Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear (or Henry V, depending on your point of view).The Invisible Man 07:34, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, or Richard III according to other people. I just think the "most popular" tag is too unspecific for us to use. AndyJones 12:28, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
If I recall Wikipedia policy correctly (I'm quite new), that is called a peacock term and should not be in the article. --J.L.W.S. The Special One 16:30, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
WP:PEACOCK is the policy you're referring to, which means using language to try to assert the importance of the article subject. It would be using peacock terms to say "Macbeth is one of the most important plays ever written," as that tries to assert something which should be clear in the article without such terms by discussing what it influenced, etc. The fact that Macbeth is one of the most widely studied and performed Shakespeare plays (thus one of the most popular) is of interest. - dharmabum 19:20, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
We all seem to be in agreement the opening sentence could be changed. I'm going to change it to dharmabum's suggestion. Throw 16 June 2006

It depends if you mean "most popular" or "most well known". these two phrases should not be confused-- (talk) 13:14, 1 March 2009 (UTC)TNArules-- (talk) 13:14, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Good Article?

I just joined the Good Articles WikiProject. My role is spotting and nominating articles which meet Good Article standards, as well as spotting articles that are close to Good Article standards, and sending them for Peer Review to improve them to Good Article standards so they can be nominated for Good Article. Do you think Macbeth meets Good Article standards, or is close to? --J.L.W.S. The Special One 16:30, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Where's the reference section? CanadianCaesar Cæsar is turn’d to hear 03:05, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
No, I think it's rather a poor article. It's got lots of good stuff in it, but it needs substantial reorganisation, and much of it needs rewriting. There's quite a lot in it that doesn't belong in an encyclopaedia at all. See Tolkien below. ColinFine 23:07, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
It's pretty bad. Most of the statements are unreferenced, and the 'Motifs and Themes' section needs careful checking, since it reads like the work of just one person. The Singing Badger 02:23, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I think the real Good Article candidate is the one about the 1971 film, Macbeth.DocEss 18:37, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


I've just removed the following (newly added) paragraph from the article.

It is also interesting to note that J.R.R Tolkiens villainous character The Witch-King of Angmar, couldn't be killed by any man, just as Macbeth couldn't be killed by any one of woman born, his final lines are also similar to the ones spoken by Macduff and Macbeth before Macbeth's death

In my view this is speculation, and in the absence of any references also appears to be original research. In any case it doesn't belong in an encyclopaedia. ColinFine 23:07, 29 July 2006 (UTC)


I left a question on the Macbeth_(1971_film) talk page and I wondered if anyone could answer it. Here it is: Could you include some discussion somewhewre about a popular superstition? The stupid-stition goes like this, as far as I recall: orally quoting any portion of MacBeth in public brings terrible luck upon the quoter. Is there anything to this or has someone walked me up the garden path? DocEss 18:45, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

This superstition is well known in the world of theatre, and is mentioned in the introduction to the article. I think the extension to 'in public' is not well established. ColinFine 23:14, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah...goodness it was written here. I'm sorry for not reading deeply enough. Thanks.DocEss 23:20, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Also, we have articles about it, at The Scottish play and Macbeth ritual. AndyJones 12:31, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Date and revision and some other stuff

It all seems very unclear in the article about when Macbeth was first performed, or first recorded as being seen, etc. etc.

Every source I've seen (having taught the play to reluctant 15 year olds over the last couple of years) agrees on the following:

  • It was written in 1606
  • It was written for James VI/I
  • It was first performed in 1606 for a performance before James and his brother-in-law, the King of Denmark

Perhaps someone could incorporate the following influences on WS into the original article:

  • James had just recently come to the throne and anything Scottish was fashionable in England at the time.
  • The previous year, Guy Fawkes and fellow conspirators had attempted regicide (and the play is about regicide)
  • James had written a book on witchcraft - hence the witches in the play.

Shakespeare knew how to suck up to his patrons, even to the extent of making Banquo (historically something of a villain) one of the good guys. Don't upset the King by suggesting his ancestor was a baddie.....

Incidentally, in the article it says (unsourced) that WS got the story from Hector Boece, but I know of no evidence for this. In the wiki article on Hector Boece it says his book was used by Ralph Holinshed as a source in his Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland and evry account I've read (including the wiki Hector Boece article) says WS got the tale from Holinshed. Room for someone to sort this out and tidy up all related articles.

Among the sources I'm referring to (I don't have them with me - I left the job!) are

Macbeth (in the Shakespeare made easy series), Stanley Thornes, 1990

Macbeth by Wm Shakespeare (introduction), Penquin

Emeraude 21:05, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Citation crazy

It seems to be there are a lot of requests for citations, for items that are, well, fairly obvious and should need no citation. Eg., "The play is seen as an archetypal tale of the dangers of the lust for power and betrayal of friends.[citation needed]" Even the most cursory reading of the play reveals this interpretation--it's certainly not some wacko theory about "the hidden meaning of MacBNath." (Although I agree perhaps that sentence could be worded a little better.) When reading the article, every other sentence has [citation needed] and it breaks up the rhythm unnecessarily. 22:39, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

This reflects the fact that much of the article is decidedly non-encyclopaedic. If evaluative and interpretive statements are not supported by citations then they are original research. I see that the editor that inserted the 'citation' tags got bored after the first couple of section, and I don't blame him/her. It really needs a rewrite. --ColinFine 23:07, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I have studied and taught this play among others for many years and I can say, I think with a tiny bit of authority, that most modern lit. critics, from Bradley to Eagleton, would agree that Raphael Holinshed had to have been Shakespeare's 'primary' historical source of information - or, if you prefer, inspiration. I want to add, though, that I think I see the reasoning behind the article writer's view and that, given the clamorous speculation that inevitably surrounds the mysterious subject that's Shakespeare's sources, she/he has an absolute right to it! I thoroughly enjoyed the piece, too, incidentally. It's balanced, entertaining, enriching and highly informative.

When considering the subject of 'history and The Bard' of course a huge number of complications always emerge, one of which I think has reared its all-too human head here again, and therefore might be worth a mention. The view has long been held by historians, my father one of them, that Holinshed himself is almost entirely unreliable, certainly as an 'historian' (in modern terms), but especially as some curious kind of 'primary' historical source. I use the term 'primary source' here to indicate 'first-hand' or even 'eyewitness' rather than merely 'first' or 'main'. Further, even if this not-particularly ideal chronicler could somehow be considered sound and balanced by today's standards, the artistic licence Shakespeare employs with even this material - but the best historian of his day's 'facts', lest we forget - renders the play a work of total fiction, historically speaking. However, it really doesn't matter does it? Macbeth is not a history play. It's a great tragedy written, I think all Shakespeare lovers would agree, by a master who had many potential audiences in mind - from James I then, to you and I now. That's why he's the best.

I agree, though, with the last comment above that the article might need a little bit more focus and that a few 'citations' ('references' is the term I prefer) might aid that aim's fulfilment. Jon Lishman, UK

Not to be a dick or anything, but your qualifications and knowledge regarding the subject are irrelevant and don't give you any more authority than any other contributer. Wikipedia policy requires that information be verifiable, which means citations need to be used. It's not satisfactory to simply state that something is obvious and doesn't require a citation. - 20:35, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Historical inaccuracies in Macbeth

I'd like to add some details about the historical inaccuracies in Macbeth. A lot of people assume that Shakespeare was a good historian; he was, however, primarily a theatrical manager and writer, not a historian, and as such he often changes facts which he considers unimportant (or in cases glosses them over) in order to improve the story (and rightly so - his job was to write a play, not to cater to pedants). His sources are also not always accurate.

In the play, for instance, Duncan is shown as being a wise, benevolent monarch who is murdered in his sleep by the power-mad tyrant Macbeth. The historian Arthur M. Gunn, on the other hand, points out that Duncan (or Donnachad mac Crinain, if you like) was a spoiled young man and a poor king who was defeated by MacBeth (or Mac Bethad) in battle. Other historians cite evidence alleging that Macbeth was himself a well-liked and generous ruler. Shakespeare also implies that Macbeth's death took place in the next campaign year following Duncan's death, but Macbeth actually reigned for 17 years. Most importantly (at least in my opinion), Shakespeare follows his sources by implying that Macbeth's final destiny is the result of his illicit usurpation of the throne of Scotland from Duncan and his rightful heirs, a point that James VI/I would have appreciated given his great interest in and support for the theory of the divine right of kings. In reality, all of the kings of Scotland in and around that time won the throne through battle.

I'd like to know if there's a consensus that this should go in this article, however, before I add it. I do have non-trivial sources for all of the above. --Charlene 08:10, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

In my opinion - no, very little of it should go in this article, as it is fully presented in Macbeth of Scotland. Perhaps there should be one sentence somewhere, explaining that, although Macbeth was a historical figure little of the content of the play is historically accurate, and directing to that article. --ColinFine 22:33, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Maybe a good thing to do would be to follow the example of Romeo and Juliet. Its "Sources" section briefly discusses the historical nature of the story. Wrad 22:39, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

External links (2)

The slashdoc link was mentioned once above (Talk:Macbeth#External_links) and is the largest collection of essays about Macbeth I've ever seen on the net so far. But User:Torisuna has a point at least in that the background of them is not clear at all. Now, what do you think? Should it stay or not? There are also other links to good essays, such as [1], [2] and [3]. A helpful link would also be this site and especially this, an accessible copy of this book. Sciurinæ 13:09, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Someone removed the link I put up yesterday for Have any of you followed the link to the annotations of the Shakespeare plays. Those annotations were done by a PhD from Harvard's English department. The line-by-line Macbeth commentary is probably better than anything available online or in-print. Furthermore, links to for-profit sites such as Sparknotes and Cliff's Notes remain. I don't particularly understand the deletion.

I personally don't like the tone of the page. It reads like a blog, which is fine, just not for wikipedia, in my opinion. Wrad 15:59, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

More superstition

Is it really neccersary to have the Blackadder reference in the part about the superstition? It is a VERY common reference in film/tv and there is no reason this particular one should be added over any others.

Thoughts? 21:26, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

it is a really good book - —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
That it is. A really, really good book. A veritable page-turner. Gardener of Geda | Message Me.... 20:09, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I see a little silohuetto of a vandal...

Under the links section, it claims that Bohemian Rhapsody was inspired by Macbeth. I am absolutely positive it isn't, so I'm getting rid of it. 20:31, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

2005 film?

Macbeth, 2005 independent film, neo-noir version of the play, set in an alternate universe where the United States is led by a totalitarian government - is there a reference for this available? I couldn't find anything in Google, IMDB, etc. Who's the director, production company, etc.-- 05:19, 2 March 2007 (UTC)


I reverted from a version that contained only "Macbeth is smelly and is a Scott" or something like it. It might be a good idea to protect this page if this happens again.

Plot Summary

The plot summary doesn't include the Hecate scenes, so I was wondering what everyone thought about adding them in with a "see Date an text" note to make sure it's clear that those scenes may not have been written by Shakespeare. Anyone for or against?Dabarnes 15:51, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Tiny Bit of POV

I know I may anger some Faulkner fans, but there is no need to use the word "masterpiece" in describing his work. It's irrelevant to this article and certainly not NPOV. So I am removing it. --Do Not Talk About Feitclub (contributions) 11:06, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Cultural references, overly long and unnecessary?

Does anyone else think this is much too drawn out and over done. i'm not saying get rid of it all but a lot of it is unnecessary.

I do indeed. It reads like an ever-increasing random collection of facts united only by somebody's belief that they have something to do with Macbeth. (Oh all right, most of them clearly do. But that doesn't mean that they're necessarily notable enough to be listed). --ColinFine

Brandonha 23:22, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Info box

(I hate them!) It was added by a new editor and stuffed up the whole format by pushing the Kean pic and the intro half a mile down the page. I was tempted to remove it, but thought the links to characters was useful, particualrly to school students, to have them all there in a list, so I moved it down to a place where it din't disrupt everything. Amandajm 11:29, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Started a discussion here about infoboxes on the Shakespeare play articles. Feel free to contribute. DionysosProteus 12:34, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Macbeth as a character

I think it should be of note that the link from the characters section is to the historical person Macbeth, rather than to the page of the character. This should be ratified. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:40, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Huh, I thought I fixed that awhile back. Oh well. Wrad 02:45, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

The Scottish Play

This section is overblown in length. We must be careful not to bore our readers. RedRabbit (talk) 14:10, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

  • I don't know. Why should this page be any different?? AndyJones (talk) 14:12, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
    • It's too long as it is. At best, it's only a side-story to amuse readers searching for extra detail. We should aim at making the article concise. RedRabbit (talk) 14:33, 6 December 2007 (UTC)


Scholars also cite an entertainment seen by King James at Oxford in the summer of 1605 that featured three "sibyls" like the weird sisters; Kermode surmises that Shakespeare could have heard about this and alluded to it with the weird sisters.

The significance of the main clause before the semi-colon is unclear: Do these same scholars agree with Kermode that the weird sisters are an allusion to the three sibyls? Or if not, why add this? It seems to me that it's not worth saying what people cite unless their position is made clear. —Preceding unsigned comment added by RedRabbit1983 (talkcontribs) 13:19, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


An anon just added the following to the page. However, it already has a synopsis, so I'm moving it here for us to consider:

Act 1: Macbeth meets three witches; they predict he will be Thane of Cawdor and king of Scotland. Macbeth and Banquo meet up with two nobles who inform them of Macbeth becoming the new Thane of Cawdor. Upon hearing this, Macbeth begins to think about his wife’s plan to murder King Duncan when he spends the night at his house.
Act 2: Macbeth follows through with the murder of King Duncan, but is too frightened after killing King Duncan to follow thorough, so his wife finishes up by wiping the King’s blood on the drunken guards. The next morning, when Macduff comes, Macbeth plays his part perfectly and the guards are the main suspect for the murder and Macbeth kills them. The king’s sons run form the castle for fear of being accused of murdering their father. King Duncan is buried.
Act 3: Banquo begins to suspect Macbeth for murdering King Duncan. Macbeth thinks that Banquo will reveal his murderous activities, so he sends some thugs to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance. He succeeds in killing Banquo, but Fleance escapes. All the lords attend a banquet except for Macduff who has gone to England searching for help because of his suspicions for Macbeth.
Act 4: The witches tell Macbeth that he cannot be killed by any man, which gives him a false sense of security. Macduff and Malcolm team up and wage war against Macbeth who has become a tyrant. Malcolm’s uncle also agrees to join the attack.
Act 5: Lady Macbeth goes crazy over the guilt of the murders. More lords join the fight against Macbeth. Macbeth isn’t worried because of the prophecy until he hears that Macduff was not born normally. Then Macduff kills Macbeth and Malcolm becomes the rightful King of Scotland.
AndyJones (talk) 17:37, 29 February 2008 (UTC)


How about a reference in the article to the finale of HBO's drama "OZ". In the finale, the prisoners put on the show MacBeth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


I just wanted to know where you get your Info it genuine??... Murshad101 (talk) 16:48, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Interesting production--all nude (really!)

In the section on noteworthy productions, I was wondering if this one is worth mentioning. In 2007, the Washington Shakespeare Company in Arlingon, Virginia did an all-nude production of Macbeth. (talk) 15:45, 30 May 2008 (UTC)Stephen Kosciesza

List of characters

Macbeth should be done like this in the list of characters:

Macbeth- Thane of Glamis later Thane of Cawdor later King of Scotland

There is no mention of the Lady Macbeth's attendant "Gentlewoman"

Seyton is Macbeth's "armour bearer"

There is no mention of the "captain" (who is wounded at the start in battle)

There is no mention of an "old man"

The english doctor is one "of physic"

The english doctor is a doctor at the court of Edward the Confessor (not sure if that's worth mentioning)

There are no mentions of the three apparitions who appear and speak to Macbeth when he is hallucinating

There are also "three other witches" who appear in a scene with Hecate who have not been listed

I would just have changed this anyway by myself but apparently I can't.

Sorry if any of you disagree but I have a copy of Macbeth right here with a list of characters at the front (Cambridge School Shakespeare sixth printing 1996, first published 1993)

Should there be a mention of settings? (England and Scotland) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:34, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Strange edits need checking - revert missed?

Something's gone wrong a screen or two down. I can't work out what. Johnbod (talk) 17:21, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that, fixed now. Wrad (talk) 17:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Welles Macbeth

{{editsemiprotected}} The correct date for the WPA Negro Theatre Unit production of Macbeth is 1936, not 1935 as listed for the photo of the Welles-directed production.

Note that this was not the first of many all-black Macbeth productions:

There is a forthcoming all-black Hollywood film, also set in the Caribbean:

Question:Can you provide a citation for this change? Thanks. Leujohn (talk) 12:47, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Not done for now: No citation. Leujohn (talk) 06:30, 14 February 2009 (UTC)