Monday, March 31, 2014

Final Point 7

Here's our revised edition!! We listed what we changed below. Happy reviewing!

High School Edition 2.0

For the annotated text we fixed some grammatical and annotating errors that Prof. Kerr pointed out to us. Prof. Kerr also pointed out an annotation that doesn't do anything for clarification, when we looked at it we agreed but couldn't think how to change it so we deleted the note but left the footnote so that we could fill it in later after we talk to Prof. Kerr about a suitable replacement. We also added media and quick facts into the text that would be more engaging for the audience. We got this idea from the edition that we edited. Obviously this makes it more interesting and exciting for the students, especially those that haven't encountered Shakespeare. We used pictures from Kenneth Branagh, hopefully an actor that high schoolers would recognize.

For the introduction we tried to cut down on the extraneous details. We also made it more readable for high school students. We want to have an introduction that makes the students excited to read, but also provides some historical context and a brief plot summary so they know what they're getting into. And we also want to refrain from sugarcoating the play because it is difficult for a lot of students. That is why we included the last section of the introduction which hopefully encourages students to take the challenge of reading Macbeth. 

For the critical section, we included another couple of paragraphs on why reading literary criticism is important and how it can aid to our understanding of the play. In addition to this, we diagrammed the Cohen essay referenced in this section and annotated it to help high school students understand the major features of a critical essay and how to read it effectively.

For the letter to the editor, we changed the beginning hook, making the letter grab the attention of the editor by outlining the major features of our edition and how they will achieve our unique goal in relation to our target audience. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Final Point 5

To the Editor,
                                           I am writing in concern to our proposed edition of Macbeth that we have submitted to you for publishing. I wish to express why our edition would be a fitting one for the audience we have selected, and what makes it strong in comparison to other editions of Macbeth currently in print. As you know, this is a quite famous and widely read play, and thus we feel that it would first and foremost be a great opportunity for your publishing company to have a unique and fitting edition for high school student, an audience that is in constant demand for Shakespearean plays.     
              Our edition is specifically written towards general public high schools, and because of this chosen audience, is much simpler in its language and form. Our included introduction prefaces the play by introducing the students to the world of Shakespeare and the world of the play without being too wordy. Other editions including those by Burton Raffell and Kenneth Muir include very lengthy introductions with intense historical information, information on Shakespearean language and form, and lots of other information that is (although necessary) superfluous to a high school education. We fear that this introductory material would not be utilized in its fullness in the high school classroom due to its irrelevance to the high school curriculum, and its length. We have instead opted for a shorter and easier-to-read introduction that contains all of this information, but presents it in a way as to make it important to the high school student, and brief enough to grab their attention.
              Another feature of our edition that makes it unique is the inclusion of a critical essay section devoted toward not only helping the high school students understand the critical work done in relation to this play, but to introduce them to the world of critical theory and literary studies. Almost every edition of Macbeth (Folger, Muir, Barnes and Noble, etc…) contains some form of a critical essay within its supplementary material. Harold Bloom wrote an essay specifically for the Raffell edition, and while this essay is conclusive and interesting, it would be very difficult for high school students to understand. Because high school students are unacquainted with the world of critical theory and research papers (for the most part), we have geared a critical section specifically to introducing high school students to this world. In this section, we talk about criticism and why it is important in helping the reader understand more about the play. We then talk about two contrasting articles and how they add depth to the themes of the play. Additionally, in the supplemental material at the back of the book, we will include one of the research articles in its entirety and annotate it to show visually to the students where the different parts of the article are (i.e. the thesis, conclusion, etc) and what each part of the article does. We are including this section in order to better prepare these students to enter the university equipped with the knowledge of how to approach research articles and incorporate them into their own thinking.
              Another special feature of our edition is the footnote system we have implemented. The multiple editions of Macbeth vary greatly in their approach to footnoting this play. The Folger and Barnes and Noble editions choose to keep their footnotes beside the text of the play while the Muir and Raffel editions follow the traditional mode of footnotes in keeping them below the text. To be more quickly accessible for the students, we have decided to have our footnotes beside the text. Additionally, the way in which each edition footnotes the text is different. The Folger edition only includes definitions of difficult words and phrases. The Muir and Raffel editions include explanations of allusions made by Shakespeare and include historical materials that go more in depth into these references. The Barnes and Noble edition rephrases difficult phrases in more modern language. Our edition combines the best of both the Folger and Barnes and Noble editions in giving the students definitions to the more uncommon words, but also rephrases certain difficult lines so that they can make sense to this younger audience. We have decided to not include historical material to make more sense of the references in the footnotes so as not to confuse the high school students.
              The final section that makes our edition so helpful to both high school students and their teachers is our inclusion of act by act supplemental material for the students and teachers. After each act within this play, we have formed a series of questions and activities to prompt classroom discussion and more serious consideration of the text. These questions can be used by the teacher before reading the act to guide the reading of the act, or they can be used afterwards in order to prompt discussion about the text and its implications in today’s society and world of art. In addition to these questions, we will include a section geared toward teachers at the back of the book, full of information to help the teacher have good classroom discussion about this work. We will include historical information that the teacher can transmit the students to help them understand more specific references made by Shakespeare, or to understand the timeframe as a whole. We will also include suggested activities that the teacher can implement in their classroom in order to engage the students in actively learning the text. We will include references to modern day adaptations and renditions of the play so that the teacher can bring the material to life and make it relatable to the students. All of this material will be included in the edition and accessible to the students also so that after studying the play, they can reuse the book and reference the material used to help them better understand the play.
              What all of these features of our edition point toward is simplicity. We want this edition to be very accessible to a high school audience so that it can be used in classrooms across the nation and the world. We will preserve the original Shakespearean language as much as possible, but we also understand that this edition needs to resonate with the student audience and therefore must be engaging and applicable to them. We believe that all of the features mentioned above (and any other innovations we think of before final printing) will allow our edition of Macbeth to succeed in motivating high school students to not only read another Shakespeare play, but to live it and think about it long after they’ve studied it for yet another high school English class. We hope you consider printing our edition and look forward to working with you. Below is some material for you to review as you consider printing our edition. Thank you.

--Sincerely, Chris, Caroline, Leo, and Brooklyn

Historical Context
Macbeth, like many of Shakespeare’s plays, is based off of an actual historical figure. The play is about the Scottish King Macbeth’s rise and fall from power, but does not offer a completely historically accurate depiction of the king. Macbeth became king of Scotland in 1040 after King Duncan was killed in a battle that took place in Macbeth’s domain. There is no historical evidence that the Scottish people resisted Macbeth’s ascension to the throne, though he was not the natural heir. In fact, King Duncan’s son Malcolm was. But Duncan’s wife fled Scotland with Malcolm and her other son Donald (or Donalbane) following the death of King Duncan. In 1052, Macbeth received Norman exiles into his court, which resulted in his involvement in an English conflict. England decided to invade Scotland because of this. Malcolm, who was now old enough to stand his ground, killed Macbeth in the English invasion.
        Shakespeare’s Macbeth was most likely written in 1606, during the reign of King James I. The significance of this is that King James was the former king of Scotland. He was appointed to assume the throne of England upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I and was apparently warmly accepted by England. James became a sponsor of Shakespeare’s acting company, meaning he took an interest in the plays Shakespeare produced and performed. It is believed that Macbeth reflects the relationship that Shakespeare had with King James I. The play is first and foremost a Scottish tragedy about historical figures that may have been ancestors to King James I.
What is it about?
        In the play, Macbeth is a Scottish general who is commended by King Duncan for his bravery in battle. With his comrade Banquo, he meets three strange witches who tell Macbeth that he can do many greater things in his life than simply be a general. These prophecies go to Macbeth’s head and suddenly he is full of ambitions to rule Scotland. Unfortunately for Macbeth, he realizes that the only way to accomplish his newfound ambition is to go against all morality and take part in dangerous and evil acts. Pressured by his wife, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth decides that his values and morals are worth sacrificing for power.
The play is wrought with murder, bloodbath, psychological turmoil, and many other conflicts. And despite the heavy historical context of the play, Macbeth has captivated audiences for centuries. This could be due to the themes of corruption and ambition, or simply because it is entertaining to watch Macbeth and Lady Macbeth go completely insane. Then again, it is up to the audience or the reader to decide if the two main characters really are mad.
The Tragedy and Superstition of Macbeth
        Shakespeare really had a thing for tragedies. Some of his most popular plays (Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear) center on murder and suicide as a result of anger, ambition, hopelessness, and other negative human emotions. One reason why Macbeth may continue to fascinate audiences and readers is because it explores the danger in feeding ambitions brought on by our dark sides. Maybe what Shakespeare suggests with this particular tragedy is that we all have darkness inside of us, and once unleashed, it is very difficult to reign it back in.
        Today Macbeth is respected in the world of theatre. However, this respect seems to stem from fear rather than an appreciation for the beauty of the play. Actors and other people involved in theatre believe that Macbeth can be an unlucky production if people do not speak of it carefully. If you walk backstage, be careful not to say the name Macbeth. You may be stared at, ridiculed, or even asked to leave. Theatre people refer to Macbeth as “The Scottish Play” and often even refer to Macbeth the character as “Mr. M.”  The superstition surrounding Macbeth comes from instances where actors have had serious misfortune (sometimes even death) during the performance of the play. So they feel that it is better to be safe than sorry and just refrain altogether from mentioning the infamous Macbeth by name.
Macbeth Today
        Shakespeare had his own jargon. Most people probably would if they lived in a time before a reliable dictionary was made (a standard English dictionary was not produced until 1755 when Samuel Johnson published A Dictionary of the English Language). So if some of the words in Macbeth seem foreign, then they might even be words Shakespeare himself created. Of course, the overall language of Shakespeare can be confusing simply because he lived centuries ago and language has certainly evolved. However, reading Macbeth in its original language only enhances the experience by making the reader feel like he or is part of the story.
        Becoming familiar with Macbeth can mean a lot of things. It can mean that you have been plagued with a tragic story that just seems plain depressing on all levels, yet fascinating for some readon. It can mean that you have become engrossed in the language, particularly the catchy speeches that you now run around reciting in a British (or Scottish) accent. Or it means that you can now understand the countless references in modern literature, movies, and even everyday conversation that come from Macbeth. You may read this play, and then later realize how many things you have said before originate here in these pages.
        Immersing yourself in the story of Macbeth will take you to a faraway place where witches abound, where a kingdom goes chaotic, and where a man too ambitious for his own good is trying his best to thrive.

Why I include what I do:
I’m including these different subheadings so that students can read along easily. I think these are the most important things for an introduction: brief historical background, a plot summary that does not give away the ending, an introduction to some themes readers might see, and a conclusion that tells why the play is important to readers.


Literary Studies on Macbeth
              Macbeth is a play that has been popular ever since its first performance in 1611. Many scholars still talk about the complex themes woven into the characters and plot, and how those themes are still important today. One of these central themes is that of violence and its effect on a person’s sanity. Madness is prevalent throughout Macbeth as it affects many of the characters, including Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and even (arguably) Macduff. Madness is a popular topic for Shakespeare that resonates throughout his other works also. In Hamlet, Prince Hamlet pretends to be crazy in order to cover up his plan to get revenge on his murderous uncle. Throughout the play, even though we know that Hamlet is only pretending to be mad, we are left to wonder whether or not his acting has led him to truly become crazy as he commits worse and worse acts. In Richard III, a play very similar to Macbeth, a jealous brother attempts to become king of England through murder and deception. In this play, Richard (the evil brother) does many horrible things like Macbeth does, and because of this suffers from paranoia and madness in the end of the play. All of these plays are similar in the fact that the tragic character (Richard, Macbeth, Hamlet) dies in the end, and usually this death is a result of the character’s madness.
              When reading historically popular works, like Shakespeare’s plays, it is important to read what literary critics are saying about the play also. Literary critics are professional scholars whose job it is to study literature and write about different ways of understanding and interpreting that literature. Because of Shakespeare’s universality and popularity, lots of critics have written about his plays and what features to pay special attention to within those works. Currently, critics are talking a lot about the aspect of madness in Macbeth and how it contributes to understanding the violence committed by Macbeth in this play.
              Derek Cohen’s article “Macbeth’s rites of violence” is an example of a critical viewing of the text, specifically trying to understand this play from the point of view of madness. In this article, Cohen argues that Macbeth’s madness would logically lead to him becoming violent as to protect his interests. Because of the paranoia created by madness, Macbeth’s actions become understandable and almost justified. Cohen writes:
Macbeth's descent into paranoia and moral madness is attributable to this realization--everyone opposed to him must be killed. The embrace of violence is sudden, total, and irreversible, though it was unexpected and unanticipated. There is no crime he will shy from in his determination to control his subjects. He realizes too late that he cannot control the thoughts of his subjects or their wishes and desires. When he realizes it, he only redoubles his violence. He is caught by his own ambition, and almost as soon as he is king he knows that he is doomed. All thought and all action are driven by the principle of his survival and fuelled by instinct. The use of violence has simplified his existence: he is king of Scotland or he is dead. (Cohen)
Cohen believes that the decision made by Macbeth to use violent means to secure his throne is one of logic. Macbeth saw a problem and saw a logical possible solution and therefore used it.
              In the world of literary criticism, not all critics agree. Because criticism is not a science that has one right answer, think of criticism as more of a conversation in which multiple participants can put forth their ideas and the evidence that supports those ideas. For example, Joanna Levin, another Shakespearean critic argues that there is a different motive behind Macbeth’s violence in this play. She believes that it is Lady Macbeth’s use of witchcraft that leads to the violence that is done. Levin shows in her article “Lady Macbeth and the Daemonologie of Hysteria” that witchcraft was seen as corrupting in the time in which this play was written. Because Lady Macbeth invokes witchcraft at the beginning of the play, Levin suggests that Shakespeare could have been showing the ill effects of this witchcraft in how Lady Macbeth drives Macbeth to commit the murders that he does. She writes:
If Shakespeare leaves Lady Macbeth's relation to the supernatural ambiguous, he nevertheless endows her with the maternal imagination thought capable of deforming a fetus. As Lady Macbeth goads Macbeth on to murder, their interaction can be read as a sexualized relation in which murderous intent emerges as the final product. Like the woman who thought of John the Baptist instead of her husband during copulation, Lady Macbeth adulterously directs her desire away from Macbeth and towards an image of his future glory: "When you durst do it, then you were a man; / And to be more than what you were, you would / Be so much more the man" (1.2.49-51). Produced by Lady Macbeth's maternal imagination, the monstrous Macbeth becomes the offspring of a disorderly feminine imagination. (Levin)
Joanna Levin completely contrasts Derek Cohen’s argument in saying why Macbeth commits so much violence in this play. Levin ascribes this violence to the character of Lady Macbeth in becoming “corrupted” through witchcraft, and therefore influenced by these corrupt forces in driving her husband to also become corrupt in order to gain power.
              As stated earlier, reading criticism is not a matter of deciding which critic is right and which is wrong. Instead, reading criticism can help us understand the text and its significance better. For example, if we read Cohen’s article in conjunction with the play, we can understand how Shakespeare’s plays are similar in highlighting madness, and can begin to ask good questions surrounding this theme, like why Shakespeare focuses so much on madness. We can also begin to see the importance of the work in relation to other works that deal with madness. In reading Levin’s article, we can understand more of the historical significance of this work. Understanding that James I (the reigning king at the time of this play) was interested, but against witchcraft, and understanding how women were treated in this timeframe, we can see this play as a commentary on these issues in Shakespeare’s time. By listening in on this “conversation” between critics, we are now more prepared to interpret this text and recognize its importance in different facets of interpretation. 

Student Study Questions 
Act 1
            1.     Characterize Lady Macbeth
2.     What influence do women have on Macbeth?
3.     What do you think Macbeth and his wife would be like without the influence of    witchcraft?

Act 2:
1.     Have either of the Macbeths undergone change since the first act? What? Why?
2.     What kind of influence does witchcraft have on Macbeth
3.     What would be different if the Macbeths never met the witches?
4.     Are the Macbeths’ sane? Why? Why not?
Act 5:
1.     What does blood symbolize? (I can’t decide if this should go in Q’s for A2 or A5..?)
2.     What is Macbeth saying in his soliloquy?
3.     What drives Lady Macbeth to suicide?

Teacher's Guide for Act 1:
1.     Characterize Lady Macbeth
a.     Lady Macbeth is power hungry and evil.
                                                        i.     Read Act 1 scene 7. She retells Macbeth why they must kill the king. She gives the readers a brutal image of her killing her own baby. Not only killing her own baby, but in one of the most tender moments a mother can have with her child (1.7 lines 53-59). This is pure evil.
b.     You may want to return to this activity after act 5 when lady Macbeth is over come with guilt. Reevaluate her character with your students after her weaknesses are shown through her guilt.
c.     Watch: by Rupert Golod (2010). It is a clip from act 1 scene 5. It is much easier for students to understand what they are reading if they can get a visualization on occasions. This particular clip is a bit more modernized. It is clear from the beginning that Lady Macbeth is evil. While reading the letter from her husband she is already scheming to do whatever it takes so Macbeth can take the throne.

2.     What influence do women have on Macbeth?
a.     In order to answer this question it is important to look at two primary groups/ characters of women: Lady Macbeth (his own wife) and, ofcourse, the witches.
b.     Janet Adelman’s article: “Born of Woman”: Fantasies of Maternal Power in Macbeth. Makes wonderful arguments about how women, at first, appear to have power over Macbeth. In the first act, the reader can conclude that Macbeth is powerless to women because the witches tell Macbeth their prophecies and then he does what ever he can to fulfill what the witches tell him. Then he is powerless to Lady Macbeth because, ultimately she is the one who convinces Macbeth to kill the king.

3.     What do you think Macbeth and his wife would be like without the influence of witchcraft?
a. This is just to get your students thinking on a more critical level. If the witches hadn’t made those prophecies to Macbeth he wouldn’t have known he was going to be king, and wouldn’t have wanted it. If he never knew, would he have killed the king? Again, this is another good question to review at the end of the play because witchcraft leads the Macbeth’s to kill Duncan. Then drives Lady Macbeth mad from guilt, also killing herself. And lastly, because Macbeth is now king he is murdered as well. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Final Point 4

These are the articles that we looked at to get an idea of the critical conversation surrounding Macbeth. As you will see some of them applied more to our selected high school audience than others. We offer a general summary and reaction to each article and then mention if and how the article would or would not inform our own edition.

Lady Macbeth's Indispensable Child
Marvin Rosenberg
Educational Theatre Journal , Vol. 26, No. 1 (Mar., 1974) , pp. 14-19
Article DOI: 10.2307/3206576
Article Stable URL:

I liked this article. Rosenberg is trying to prove that Macbeth has a son. He cites that the witches prophecy about Banquo’s posterity reigning in the kingdom would not bother him if Macbeth did not have any sons. Because “if Macbeth were childless, the succession of Fleance would be no great matter, it could come after Macbeth had been peacefully paid.” Also, Macbeth’s tyranny is not manifest until after he learns that Banquo’s son has remained alive. Lastly he says that even though Macbeth had been guarenteed the safety he had hoped for by the witches in his last encounter with them that one thing still troubles his mind: “shall Banquo’s issue ever rule the kingdom?”

He also of course cites that Lady Macbeth says that she has given suck as evidence. I liked the article but I honestly think that high school students would not care for it. It does change our reading of the play a little bit, but not enough that you would want to bog high school students down with it. Basically, the revelation isn’t worth the reading for high schoolers.

Questions being asked: Does Macbeth have a son? Is passing on his kingdom a motive for Macbeth's actions? How does this justify (or not justify) Macbeth?

"Macbeth" Lives Again
Mary N. Gallman
The English Journal , Vol. 41, No. 7 (Sep., 1952) , pp. 370-371

So this wasn't criticism like the assignment entails but somewhat of a report by a high school teacher of how students responded to an assignment that she gave them. The assignment was to tell the story of Macbeth through the eyes of one of the characters. She said the responses were amazing. Especially those in which Macbeth psychoanalysis himself. The article is only a page and a half so if we wanna do a teacher edition I think this would be useful to put in it.

Question being asked: How would the play be different through the eyes of another character?

Macbeth, the Murderers, and the Diminishing Parallel
Joan Hartwig
The Yearbook of English Studies , Vol. 3, (1973) , pp. 39-43
Article DOI: 10.2307/3506854

This was pretty cool. Hartwig examines how Macbeth’s humanity diminishes into nothing just as the murderers that he hires. Hartwig points out that the murderers did not need to be persuaded to kill Banquo but that Macbeth still insists on persuading them. She also shows how Macbeth has gone from being the persuaded to the persuader. So his diminishing humanity can be seen from his first needing to be persuaded to murder to his then persuading others to murder to his statements at the end of the play that signify almost a complete loss of humanity. Statements such as ‘I’ll fight, till from my bones my flesh be hack’d” and “I have liv’d long enough.”

The ideas in this article would work for high school students because it illustrates a significant topic. But she cites a lot of other scholars and primary works so if we could have a summary of her article in our edition that would be the best I think.

Question being asked: Does Macbeth lose his humanity and become more like the murderers?

Purgation, Exorcism, and the Civilizing Process in Macbeth 
Bryan Adams Hampton. 

Hampton talks about the binaries presented in Macbeth, and how the binary that is less commonly treated is that of spritually “dirty” and “clean” elements. He talks about the binary of the witches against that of the ghost. The work is important in showing the importance of binaries in Macbeth and in showing holy and unholy “split” in the play. His thesis shows the importance of the argument:
“Saunders's list of binaries, however, ignores an important cultural context: the ritual and spiritual dimensions of "clean" and "dirty" as the "sacred" and the "profane." But what do we accomplish by adding another set of binaries, and how do they impinge on the action of Macbeth? First, domestic cleanliness, brought about by the everyday household tasks of purgation, have spiritual purchase in the civilizing process, not just for the individual household, but also for the nation. As Robert Cleaver describes, English householders understand that their particular vocation distinguishes them from "Papists, Atheists, yea, Turkes and Infidels," who equally provide the necessities for their children, and from their fellow Englishmen that merely "pretend to be great protestants, and sound professors of the Gospell." For Cleaver, their task of "reforming their own houses" is "a most necessary discipline" because if the owner has "a Church in his house," these seeds eventually bloom into an ordered English Church.16 Domestic disorder, depicted by Cleaver as servants who habitually "shew any lewd tricke[s]," as a "cruell" and tyrannical husband who fails to "love, cherish, and nourish his wife, even as his owne bodie," or as an unruly "street-wife" who wanders abroad or fails to keep a thrifty house, reflects poorly on the national, Protestant identity of England and draws the judgment of God.17 Second, in examining the cultural binaries of "sacred" and "profane," we will also complicate, or even dissolve, their rigid distinctions and trouble Saunders's description of the neat economy of the nation's civilizing process, whereby Scotland's disease and dirtiness is purged in exchange for England's vigor and cleanliness, or Macbeth's fiendlike foulness is exorcised by Edward III's saintly fairness.”
This article shows the importance of reading the play under the lens of this holy binary and it adds depth to the meaning of the play.

Fantasizing Infanticide: Lady Macbeth and the Murdering Mother in Early Modern England
Stephanie Chamberlain 
Found on MLA

This article is pretty shocking, but helpful in understanding Lady Macbeth as a character and her indifference (and almost passion) toward the tragedy that befalls Macduff. It also adds more depth to the famous scene of her walking in the night trying to clean her hands. The article talks about how infanticide was actually a small trend among English women in the early modern period and how Shakespeare was aware of this trend and thus wove it into his play. The article references practices surrounding motherhood including nursing and raising children and how some mothers felt a disconnect with these practices and therefore reacted violently. The article cites lots of subtle references to these issues in Macbeth and relate them back to the character of Lady Macbeth. Here’s a paragraph to illustrate the point of this article:
“Lady Macbeth's reference to motherhood and infanticide near the end of act one of Macbeth remains one of the more enigmatic moments in all of Shakespeare's drama. Fearing Macbeth's wavering commitment to their succession scheme, Lady Macbeth declares that she would have "dashed the brains out" (1.7.58)2 of an infant to realize an otherwise unachievable goal. Scholars have traditionally read this as well as her earlier "unsex me here" (1.5.39) invocation as evidence of Lady Macbeth's attempt to seize a masculine power to further Macbeth's political goals. To overcome her husband's feminized reticence, Lady Macbeth assumes a masculinity she will prove unable to support. While she clearly seeks power, such power is, I would argue, conditioned on maternity, an ambiguous, conflicted status in early modern England. Indeed, the images of nursing and infanticide that frame Lady Macbeth s act one fantasy invoke a maternal agency, momentarily empowering the achievement of an illegitimate political goal.”
“Born of Woman”: Fantasies of Maternal Power in Macbeth 
Janet Adelman

She discuses the power woman have in this play. She talks about how the witches have power over Macbeth and they are the reason for everything he does. She also discusses, obviously, Lady Macbeth and the power she has over Macbeth. She talks about Macbeth unconsciously wanting to escape the domain of women. She mentions that the women only exist in this play to disappear. She talks about how each female character falls out of the story and how aware the reader is or is not aware of it happening. The author alludes to lots of other works. References Cymbeline and the quote “Is there no way for men to be but women?/ Must be half-workers?” And then the author also talks about The Tempest where we see an almost womenless world. And so on and so on….
Her concluding statement is:
“In Macbeth, maternal power is given its most virulent sway and then abolished; at the end of the play we are in a purely male realm. We will not be in so absolute a male realm again until we are in Prospero’s island- kingdom, similarly based firmly on the exiling of the witch Sycorax.”
There were things I liked and disliked. Overall I felt like there were some good points made. I think it is way too long for a high school edition but I think if we cut a lot of it out, or even had summaries… that’d be cool. I don’t know,  just a thought.

Macbeth: The Sexual Underplot 
Ralph Berry

The author just basically would dissect parts of the text and explain that it really had sexual meaning and then why. I didn’t feel like he had a great argument. It could be just because I don’t feel like other people talk about that for this play much and I also felt like he was making a stretch to connect it to sexual meaning. I could be wrong, but that’s how I felt.  

“The Way To Study Death”: New Light On A Variant In F2 MACBETH
Todd Borlik 
Explicator 70.2 (2012): 144-148. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.

“Out of context, Macbeth’s ensuing
monologue—“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow”—stands as one of
Shakespeare’s Olympian meditations on the human predicament. But the
overlooked preamble in effect frames the speech as a kind of blasphemous
eulogy for Lady Macbeth.”

This article discusses a different edition of the play in which “dusty death” was changed to “study death.” Overall, it analyzes Macbeth’s famous “Tomorrow” speech. This type of text could be useful in our edition because it analyzes a famous part of the play that addresses major themes. It is not very long, just six pages, and easy enough for a high school student to read without getting lost.

Shakespeare's Macbeth 
Bill Delaney
The Explicator 63.4 (2005): 209+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.

This article talks about the metaphors Shakespeare uses in Macbeth, particularly in this part of the play:
Methought I heard a voice cry "Sleep no more!
   Macbeth does murder sleep"--the innocent sleep,
   Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
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. (1)

Basically I think this article might be helpful for high school students reading the play because it is pretty simple but still engages readers into critical conversation.