Emma Smith

Mar 20, 2023

Shakespeare's "Macbeth" Part 1: the Story

A Discussion with Emma Smith

New Books Network 2023

Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most concentrated and thrilling tragedies. Macbeth is a warrior lord living in medieval Scotland who starts the play by saving his king — only to then murder the king himself. In this course, you’ll learn Macbeth’s story, explore the complex morality and psychology of Macbeth and his accomplice, Lady Macbeth, and hear the play’s key speeches performed and analyzed by world-class Shakespearean actors and literary scholars. In Part 1, you’ll be guided through a detailed account of the story with commentary by Emma Smith, professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Oxford. Professor Smith outlines the imagery and structure of the play and its relationship to historical events of Shakespeare’s time. This summary is told using the language of the play itself, placing key quotations in context to help you understand where these lines come from and what they mean.

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