Cover image for Macbeth
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Uniform Title:
Publication Information:
New York : Caedmon Audio, 1996.
Physical Description:
2 audio discs (approximately 131 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact discs.
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
XX(1108842.6) Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order



"Is this a dagger I see before me?"

Features a unique cover illustration by Maurice Sendak (Wherethe Wild Things Are), specially commissioned for the Shakespeare onCompact Disc series. An introductory essay by Harvard scholar Harold Bloomaccompanies the CD.

Author Notes

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School.

At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry.

By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true.

Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play.

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Based on an HBO animated series, these condensations emphasize the dramatic content of some of Shakespeare's best known works. As abridged by Garfield in consultation with a panel of scholars, the books on the whole retain the magic of Shakespeare's vision and remain true to his poetics. Linguistic fluidity is perforce sacrificed (omitted lines are presented as italicized summaries interspersed throughout the dialogue), but these versions should still fire children's imaginations. Though the artwork varies in quality, the Eastern European illustrators generally capture the underlying theatrics. Palettes are subdued for the dramas, and appropriately brighter for the comedies (though the tone reproductions frequently seem off). Several plays' illustrations have a cartoony appearance; a few exhibit the stilted look of old Classics Comics. While the plays forgo their complexities--many subplots are omitted--as they become more linear in their themes (Macbeth loses much of his humanity, Romeo and Juliet is pared of its politics), their nobility shines through in these visualized introductions. One hopes that readers will be encouraged to move on to the originals. Ages 10-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Kliman (Nassau Community College) begins with an informative survey of 17th- and 18th-century stage history of Macbeth, then closely examines a handful of 20th-century stage, television, and film productions, some protagonist-dominated (Lawrence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, Maurice Evans and Judith Anderson, Eric Porter and Janet Suzman, Nicol Williamson and Jane Lapotaire), others director-dominated and with a larger societal vision (Orson Welles's ^D ' Macbeth, Trevor Nunn's ^D ' version, and Roman Polanski's notorious gory, nude one). Kliman rightly recognizes that "every great Lady Macbeth, every Macbeth, has to be measured against [Sarah Siddons's] performances, " and she provides some fine analysis of the Lady Macbeths, from the fierce and forceful Siddons to the victimized Francesca Annis in Polanski's film. This book, in a series intended to assist class discussion at the high school and college levels, provides an abundance of material to whet the creative and critical appetites of students, teachers, actors, and all others who share an interest in Shakespeare on the stage. The illustrations are few and uninspired, the bibliography substantial. A pity that the characters in the play are not listed in the index. All collections. J. Ellis formerly, Mount Holyoke College



For generations audiences have been gripped by the powerful drama of Macbeth: The ruinous journey of a man driven by his ambition for power, yet ultimately ending in fear violence, and madness. Macbeth, a Scottish general in King Duncan's army, Is given a prophecy by three witches that he himself will become king. Fueled by this knowledge and goaded on by his ruthless wife he murders the king to gain the crown. Yet having gained his goal, The "peace to all their days and nights to come" prophesized by the witches fails to appear. Rather, he finds that having killed, he must do so again and again. Suspicion, fear And The ghosts of the dead haunt him and his wife, destroying everything that they fought for, including their relationship, their world and finally both of them. Holding new meaning for each generation this play is a masterpiece not to be missed. Excerpted from MacBeth by William Shakespeare All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.