Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Macbeth” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview
Read Book* *Different edition


3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  425,921 ratings  ·  5,479 reviews
This complete, line-by-line Macbeth translation makes the language of Shakespeare's play more modern while preserving the metrical rhythm, complexity, and poetic qualities of the original. The aim is to capture the sound and sense of Shakespeare's tragedy without the need for glosses or notes--to use contemporary language without simplifying or modernizing the play in any ...more
Kindle Edition
Published January 28th 2009 (first published 1606)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Macbeth, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Ellie Macbeth is good, if you can understand it. It is written by Shakespeare, so the writing is a little hard to comprehend normally. And if you can't…moreMacbeth is good, if you can understand it. It is written by Shakespeare, so the writing is a little hard to comprehend normally. And if you can't follow the text, then you can't understand what is going on, either.
If you are fine with the writing, then yes, the book provides an intriguing ensemble, plot, and allows you to look in the face of ambition and power.(less)
Giulia It is about Macbeth, a noble who hears a prophecy proclaiming he will be king, and after telling this to his power hungry wife, they both descend into…moreIt is about Macbeth, a noble who hears a prophecy proclaiming he will be king, and after telling this to his power hungry wife, they both descend into suspicion and evil as Scotland is thrown upside with their actions. Don't want to tell too much. :)(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Years after first adding this to my "Shakespeare" shelf, I finally sat down and did it. So here, long overdue, is

The Scottish Play, abridged:

WITCHES: Bibbity bobbity boo! Time to fuck with the mortals!

DUNCAN: Isn’t Macbeth great? Now there’s a guy I can always trust to have my back. I should promote him.


WITCHES: ThaneofGlamisandCawdorandFutureKingsayswhat?


Don't you kind of hate how we've entered the decadent phase of Goodreads wherein perhaps fifty percent (or more) of the reviews written by non-teenagers and non-romancers are now naked and unabashed in their variously effective attempts at being arch, wry, meta, parodic, confessional, and/or snarky?

Don't you kind of pine (secretly, in the marrow of your gut's merry druthers) for the good ol' days of Goodreads (known then as when all reviews were uniformly plainspoke
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present A Thing You Probably Didn't Want But Are Going To Get Anyway:

Macbeth, in GIFs:

King Duncan to Macbeth:

Macbeth to King (secretly):

Lady Macbeth:


Lady Macbeth to Macbeth:

Macbeth to Duncan:


Malcom and Donalbain:


Macbeth to Banquo:



Malcolm to Macduff:

Macduff and Malcom:


Lady Macbeth:

Lady Macbeth:






There are two reasons to love this play.

The first reason is Lady Macbeth. Man, that girl has got it goin’ on. Have you ever found yourself in the running for, say, a new position that’s opened up at your company, a position for which you—along with one of your equally worthy colleagues, perhaps—might qualify? You may not have given much thought to your professional advancement before, but now that this promotion has been dangled before you, it has ignited a spark of ambitious desire. Imagine the
Mar 29, 2015 Dolors rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Believers of the occult & Skeptics
While nature remains an impassive witness that blossoms with wounded beauty and treacherous storms in “King Lear”, it embodies a mystic underworld rich with esoteric tradition and almost sacrilegious imagery in “Macbeth”.
Apparitions, ghosts and witches dance at the tune of lyrical prophecies and besiege the open plains of Scotland during nighttime. Only Macbeth hears their infantile incantations:

“The weyward sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus go do about, about.
Thrice to thin
Ademilson Moraes
just a decoration that I made for my room out of inspiration from this book
Just a decoration I did for my room, so inspired I was by this book.

This was the first Shakespeare that I ever read.

I remember being very anxious before I started reading this, for I knew it was going to be a "test" of my "intelligence". With English not being my mother language and having read/heard how difficult Shakespeare could be, I was afraid that trying to read this would be like torture. As I started to read I realized that this was not actual English, though; I mean, it is English, bu
Huda Yahya
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing

هذا في رأيي هو أفضل سطر كتب عن العدمية في التاريخ
وهو السطر الذي استمد منه فولكنز عنوان رائعته الصخب والعنف

هذا هو كتابي المفضل رقم (1)
وسيظل كذلك ما حييت

نبوغ شكسبير لا يحتاج أحدا ليدلل عليه
فأكيف بالله عليكم أحلل أو أناقش عملا له
لا أملك الجرأة بعد
وإن أتتني الجرأة فهل تسعفني الكلمات؟

قصتي مع ماكبث تتلخص في هيام تام بكل حرف كُتب
وبكل مشهد صور

سطور ماكبث تطاردني في كل مكان
تحلق أمامي أبدية الخلود
تؤكد لي يوما بعد يوم أنها ستظل محفورة بداخلي

After a discussion of this play that went over 100 comments, a review seems at once superfluous and necessary to give greater exposure to an excellent conversation. One of the best things about Goodreads is that it provides a forum to hash out discrepancies of opinion thoughtfully and passionately, so that our own feelings and understandings can be challenged by and challenging for others. I think what you’ll find below is a perfect example of this, enacted by people who care deeply about Shakes ...more
Jason Koivu
Witches, superstition and mysticism create one of the Bard's more fantastical of plays. Add to it the very real, human elements of self-doubt, manipulation, betrayal and soul-tormenting regret and you get one of the most enjoyable, poignant pieces of literature of all time.

Perhaps only Hamlet reaches a higher level of human suffering encapsulated (Yes, Lear comes close.) I love the hell out Shakespeare's most popular, most well-known play, but Hamlet's interminable introspection tends to mire th
For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, Macbeth (30) versus The Complete Sherlock Holmes (19)

This early draft of Macbeth, recently translated from the original Klingon, casts new light on the play and has already caused its fair share of controversy. We present two extracts.


Surely no man suspects I killed the King?
Or if they do, they durst not breathe a word
Knowing our wrath...


Well, actually, my lord
There's quite a few down at the bar
Carmo Santos
A sempre apelativa dicotomia bem/mal, a ambição desmedida levada ao limite e à insanidade, a fatal perversidade feminina tão ou mais perigosa que um exército, traição, morte, culpa, loucura e mais morte para expiar o sangue derramado. O génio dramatúrgico de Shakespeare numa histórica baseada em acontecimentos reais, que se mantém tragicamente actual. A humanidade não aprende e não tem emenda. Com um toque de magia e sobrenatural a desencadear os acontecimentos, mas a deixar espaço ao homem para ...more
Jul 13, 2015 Jonfaith rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jonfaith by: Gregsamsa
I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
And falls on the other.

Last winter I heard a report on NPR about Stalin's dacha in Sochi. Such featured some curious design features including a bulletproof sofa with extended headrests that prevented his head being exposed from behind to an assassin. The curtains were also shorter in length from the top to prevent someone from hiding from behind them. As I drove I mused as to what sort of world-view
Huda Aweys
Injustice .. greed .. desire .. In the initial primitive pictures !
Esteban del Mal
Sep 27, 2010 Esteban del Mal rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aspiring Machiavellians
Location: Central California coast. A beach.

ESTEBAN: [aside] Methinks that the cover art for this Bantam Classic edition makes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth looketh much alike. 'Tis freakish!
Forsooth, gender is all over the place in this play: the bearded sisters are hermaphroditical, Macduff is some kind of übermensch because he has avoided the taint (heh) of natural birth. Is Macbeth some kind of frustrated homosexual? If so, it serves those gay bashing medieval Scottish bastards right! Burn it al
For my birthday tomorrow my wife got us tickets to go see Sleep No More here in New York - an immersive theater experience based upon Macbeth. I've not read / seen the play performed for many years, so to refresh our memories today my wife indulged my one-man presentation of all five acts. All apologies to my friends in Scotland for butchering the accents.

Of all Shakespeare's plays, Macbeth's themes might be the most frequently plumbed by modern purveyors of quality entertainment (Game of Throne
"I will not be afraid of death and bane,
Till Birnam forest comes to Dunisnane."
(Act 5, Sc. 3)

I personally find Macbeth more enjoyable than Hamlet. It's a great tale about a Scottish General's hunger for power after a strange prophecy by a trio of witches, and how power and ambition can blind people and turn them evil. It always astounds me how quickly Macbeth went from a meek man to a murderous tyrant.Lady MAcbeth's strength and bloodlust also amazes me.

"Life's but a walking shadow; a poor pla
مکبث نمايشنامه ي بسيار دردناک در مورد جاه طلبي است
طمع و زياده خواهي گاهي چنان انسان را اسير خود مي كند كه نه تنها چيزي عايدش نمي شود بلكه داشته هايش را هم از وي مي گيرد

كسي از آينده چيزي نمي داند ولي عده اي بر اين باورند كه انسانهايي هستند كه به كمك جادوگري از آينده افراد آگاه مي شوند.اما سوال اساسي اين است كه دانستن آينده به نفع آدمي است يا ضررش؟

مكبث در تقديرش آمده كه پادشاه خواهد شد. سه ساحره آينده را براي وي بازگو مي كنند،اما مكبث ديگر آن آدم پيشين نيست و از شجاعت و شمشيرش بجاي دفاع از خاك و م
"[T]he innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast."

"How could I delay for so long my reading Shakespeare and specially Macbeth?" That was the first thing that came to my mind after reading the first act. I was thrilled from the very first scene to the last oneby such a humane and yet supernatural play. I think what's great is that the author wrote
This was my first ever Shakespeare.

We studied it in high school in Year Eleven. It was the only Shakespeare we studied in High School. Now, in the last three years of high school, my daughters read a play by Shakespeare every year.

I remember, before I started reading this play, how afraid I was. I knew, you see, it was very important that I understand Shakespeare – even if I had to pretend. It was that important that I understand him. I knew that this was going to be a test of my ‘intelligence
"I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er."

A sure sign you're totally fucked.
For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, Macbeth (30) versus 1984 (22)


... and now over to Northern Airstrip One, where Macduffian freedom fighters and our East Asian allies are close to encircling the Eurasian-backed dictator Macbeth's last stronghold. We have a journalist reporting live now from just outside Dunsinane Castle.

[Windswept Scottish Highlands scene. JOURNALIST in combat gear in foreground, camouflaged soldiers carrying branches behind him. Sound of automatic weapo
Emily May
Still my favourite Shakespeare play? I think so.
Language-wise, Shakespeare is always a master. He invented many a word and phrase that we all use even today, centuries later. But some of the stories and characters are better than others. Macbeth, in my opinion, sits near the top of the pile. The witches and their fateful prophecies, the bloody betrayals, the madness of Lady Macbeth, and the tragedy of Macbeth himself. Bringing about his own prophesised downfall, step by step. Nothing short of ge
Oct 09, 2011 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I think I can handle a little peril
Recommended to Mariel by: the band from Harry Potter
Celebrity Death Match tournament versus The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
The Twisted Sisters
I was worried about my colleague, the great respected private detective Sherlock Holmes. The pressure to uphold his reputation was great. He was up at all hours of the night, often muttering to himself that this or such and such was "Elementary, my dear Watson" and ways to upstage me in games of Trivial Pursuit. One evening I caught him with an opened second box of the game and he was memorizing the ques
Evelyn (devours and digests words)
Macbeth is my favourite out of everything else by The Bard. Next to Julius Caesar.

(I read the abridged stories version of it as a child, not the real play back then. I've only begun reading the original plays recently)

I have a thirst for anything that is macabre and Macbeth got just that. My fix was satisfied. There are witches(my favourite term is 'soothsayers'), goddess of magic, apparitions, BLOODSHED and.... more bloodshed.

I love reading Macbeth as he rise in power (by means of murderin
A. William Shakespeare
(Macbeth - Acto V, Cena V)

"De amanhã em amanhã vão-se arrastando
nossos dias, numa senda sem sentido,
até à última sílaba do tempo registado;
e a luz dos nossos ontens vai-nos guiando.
quais tolos, para a morte. Apaga-te,
minúscula candeia! A vida é uma sombra
que caminha; pobre actor que em pleno palco
breve instante se contorce e pavoneia,
para nunca mais se ouvir; é uma história
contada por um parvo, toda ela som e fúria,
mas que nada significa."

B. Jorge Luis Borges
(Um liv
I like to come at Macbeth from an historical perspective, a perspective where Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are not anti-heroes, but heroes of the highest order.

How is that possible you ask? Because Macbeth is taking what is rightfully his.

Modern audiences, and perhaps even audiences in Shakespeare's day (although that seems unlikely since they would have had a greater everyday knowledge of the power structures of Scottish clans), look at Macbeth as the story of power corrupting absolutely. We see i
Henry Avila
The play starts with the standard three witches, (which Shakespeare practically invented) plotting the assassination of Duncan.Why the King of Scotland is to be killed is never explained.The weird sisters maybe just like to cause evil.Their tool is Macbeth , a lord and very ambitious man, married to an even more, woman.Scotland in the mid 11th century is barbaric,bloody,and with the nobles always fighting for power.The English and Norsemen also battle for influence in that rough land.A great opp ...more

(I love this photo of the three witches, even though they're beardless.)

Have you ever heard of Mr. William Shakespeare? Let me introduce you to this little-known drama he wrote. It's about bearded witches and a tyrannically murderous king and being a man. It's set in pagan Scotland so there's a lot of sorcery and supernatural stuff going on just like Harry Potter. Actually it's more like Game of Thrones—it's exactly like Game of Thrones, in fact, both in mood and in amounts of blood.

Mr. Ray Brad
mark monday
i love this play like a simile I can't come up with.

well that last review pretty much sums up anything i could possibly ever say. i even stole that first line up there from one of the reviews above. sometimes it's okay
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
like took place pope said national 1 1 9 hours, 7 min ago  
Question about Macbeth's Downfall! 16 122 Jul 19, 2015 05:10PM  
The Ocelot Clubhouse: Macbeth 1 3 Jun 30, 2015 05:55PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Macbeth by William Shakespeare 1 10 Jun 28, 2015 11:02AM  
Shakespeare Fans: "smoked"? 5 19 Jun 24, 2015 10:40PM  
Support for Indie...: Empathy and Sympathy 14 38 May 22, 2015 10:01AM  
  • Suddenly Last Summer
  • Doctor Faustus
  • The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone
  • Ghosts
  • Major Barbara
  • Three Plays: Blithe Spirit / Hay Fever / Private Lives
  • The Pillowman
  • The Duchess of Malfi
  • Prometheus Bound
  • Medea and Other Plays
  • Equus
  • The Complete Dramatic Works
  • Lysistrata
  • Copenhagen
  • The Zoo Story and Other Plays
  • Wit
  • All in the Timing
  • She Stoops to Conquer
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
More about William Shakespeare...
Romeo and Juliet Hamlet A Midsummer Night's Dream Othello Much Ado About Nothing

Share This Book

143 trivia questions
8 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.”
“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”
More quotes…