Critical Insights: Macbeth Review

“This installment in the Critical Insights series examines Shakespeare's Macbeth. The book begins with an explanation of the volume's organization followed by a general essay on the play and a biography of Shakespeare. This is followed by a section of four critical essays that analyze the play's reception as it has evolved over time; the play's historical context; the play as seen through the lens of Alfred Mele's psychological theory of self-deception; and the play as contrasted and compared to Hamlet. The second section, Critical Readings, includes nine essays "on a wide range of subjects touching on Macbeth and its broader cultural significance." (p. ix) Among the nine essays are "Interpreting the Weird Sisters: Page, Stage, and Screen" and "Blood and Milk: The Masculinity of Motherhood in Shakespeare's Macbeth.” The last section of the book includes an annotated chronology of Shakespeare's life, a list of his works, a bibliography, information about the editor and authors, and an index. Like the other volumes in this series, this one provides the necessary context to make an enduring classic accessible to students entirely unfamiliar with the text while offering interesting insights to those much more familiar with the work. Recommended.”