Page images
PDF
EPUB

Select Plays of Shakspere

THE RUGBY EDITION

M AC B E T H

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

EDITED BY THE REV.

CHARLES E. MOBERLY, M.A.

ASSISTANT MASTER IN RUGBY SCHOOL

Malone R. 36.

RIVINGTONS
London, Oxford, and Cambridge

1872

INTRODUCTION

*HE accession of James I. in the year 1603 brought 1 Scottish subjects much into vogue in England ; and in an especial manner the tale of Macbeth and Banquo, as the latter was held to be an ancestor of the new king. The whole story is told in doggrel rhymes by the author of a book called Albion's England,' published just before Queen Elizabeth's death ; and the ‘Progresses of King James' tell us that in 1605 the members of the University of Oxford rehearsed it, by way of welcome to the king, in Latin Hexameters hardly better in quality.? It had indeed before this been told by Buchanan in his classical Latin prose: but the source from which Shakspere mainly derived it was Holinshed's Chronicles. It is unnecessary to quote these, as the version of it there given agrees much more closely with Shakspere's dramatization than with the more authentic history, as related by Sir Walter Scott. This is as follows:

“ DUNCAN, by his mother Beatrice a grandson of

1 For these two references the editor is indebted to the unfailing knowledge of Matthew Bloxam, Esq. A specimen of the 'hexameters' is worth giving :

“ Banquonem agnovit generosa Loquabria thanum;
Nec tibi, Banquo, tuis sed sceptra nepotibus illæ

Immortalibus immortalia vaticinata.” 2 The facts of the drama are, however, like those of 'King Lear,' taken from two separate events in Holinshed, -the murder of King Duffe by Donwald, and that of Duncan by Macbeth.

« PreviousContinue »