Shakespeare’s Macbeth - LPC Library Research Guide

Reference Sources

Use reference sources for background information, broad overviews, and summaries.

Virtual Reference Book (E-book): Shakespeare for Students: Critical Interpretations of Shakespeare's Plays and Poetry 2nd ed.

All Things Shakespeare: An Encyclopedia of Shakespeare’s World. Alphabetical list of topics, 2 vols. Ref PR2892.O56 2002

The Norton Shakespeare: Based on the Oxford Edition. Complete works plus information about Shakespeare’s world. Ref PR2754.G74 1997

The Reader’s Encyclopedia of Shakespeare: The Only Encyclopedia of Shakespeare and His Works. Basic information on Shakespeare, his life, work, characters in the plays and production of the plays. Ref PR2892.C3

Shakespeare: An Illustrated Dictionary. Alphabetical list of topics about Shakespeare’s life and works, including an alphabetical list of characters in Shakespeare’s plays. Ref PR2892.W44 1978

A Shakespeare Glossary. Ref PR2892.O6 1986

Shakespeare’s World and Work: An Encyclopedia for Students. 3 vols. Ref PR2892.S56 2001


Books & Audiovisuals

Use the online catalogs for the LPC Library or local public libraries for print and audiovisual resources on Shakespeare and Macbeth.

Books available at LPC Library

TIP: Scan a book’s table of contents for related essay topics. Use the book’s index to find specific sections related to Macbeth.

Macbeth. PR2878.M3.L3 1983

Macbeth: An Authoritative Text, Sources and Contexts, Criticism. PR2823.A2.M56 2003

Macbeth: Bloom’s Major Literary Characters. PR2823.M2294 2005

Macbeth. Cambridge School Shakespeare. PR2823.A25 2005

Macbeth: Texts and Contexts. PR2823.A2.C37 1999

The Rough Guide to Shakespeare: The Plays, the Poems, the Life with Reviews of Productions, CDs & Movies. PR2976.D52 2005

Shakespeare for Students: Critical Interpretations of As You Like It, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet. PR2987.S47 1992

Shakespearean Tragedy: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. PN2983.B7

Shakespeare's Tragedies. Comprehensive Research and Study Guide.  PR2983 .S445 1999

The Tragedy of Macbeth. PR2823.A2.M32

The Tragedy of Macbeth. PR2823.A2 B35 2004

Twentieth Century Interpretations of Macbeth: A Collection of Critical Essays. PR2823.T9

W. H. Auden: Lectures on Shakespeare. Includes Macbeth. PR2976.A93 2000

William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Modern Critical Interpretations. PR2823.W48 1987



Macbeth. Ambrose Video. Time-Life Television. 148 min. MV 23168

Macbeth. BBC Television. 148 min. DVD PR2823.A23 2000

Macbeth. Columbia Pictures. 140 min. DVD PR2823.A23 2002

Macbeth. Films for the Humanities. 150 min. MV 20960 Pt. 1 & 2

Macbeth. Home Vision Entertainment. 88 min. DVD PR2823.A2.B36 2004

Macbeth. Orson Welles, 1948. 106 min. MV 21040

Macbeth. Royal Shakespeare Company. A&E Television. 146 min. DVD PR2823.A2.C283 2004

Macbeth. Shakespeare Animated Films. 30 min. MV 22418

Throne of Blood. Adaptation of Macbeth, set in feudal Japan. Subtitled. 109 min. DVD PN1997.K86 2003

Understanding Shakespeare: The Tragedy Series. 90 min. each MV 21788, Pt. 1-4


Periodicals & Databases

The following electronic databases can be accessed in the LPC Library or from home at the LPC Library Homepage. A very important resource for distance education students.

Literature Resource Center: Contains biographies, criticism, work overviews and explications, Websites, periodical articles, and more.

LitFinder: Search for Macbeth in “Essays” for several interesting articles.

Academic Search Complete: Contains articles on Shakespeare and Macbeth Click the “Full Text” and “Scholarly Journals” checkboxes to retrieve full-text critical articles by noted literary scholars.

TIP: Check local public libraries for their electronic resources on Macbeth.


Internet Resources

Be cautious of information found on the Web since the quality of sources varies tremendously on the Internet. As with all information resources, whether in print or on the Internet, evaluate its quality based on the following criteria:

Accuracy...... Is it free from mistakes and errors?

Authority...... What are the qualifications of the author?

Objectivity.... Is there any strong bias?

Currency ..... Is the information up-to-date?

Coverage ..... To what extent is the topic explored?

Selected Web Sites about Macbeth & Shakespeare

Macbeth: A Study Guide - 28-pages published by the Utah Shakespearean Festival containing a summary, characters, costumes, etc.

Macbeth Navigator at - Summarizes each scene, reviews characters, themes, and motifs.

Internet Shakespeare Editions - Scholarly, fully annotated text and related information.

Macbeth Plugged: an Annotated, On-line Version of the Shakespearean Tragedy - Introduction, characters, theme, each scene presented & summarized with definitions for highlighted unfamiliar words.

Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet - Searchable annotated guide to Shakespeare on the Internet includes timeline and study guides.

Proper Elizabethan Accents - For Renaissance Faire participants – includes links to hear pronunciation, includes grammar, vocabulary, & lots of links relative to Shakespeare’s language.

RSC's Macbeth Play Guide - Royal Shakespeare Company: “About Tragedy, About the Play, Learning, Teachers, More about Shakespeare,” including film synopses, who’s who, witchcraft, divine right of kings, etc.

Shakespeare Online: Macbeth - Covers the play, analysis, essays, Holinshed’s Chronicles (Shakespeare’s source for the information for Macbeth), topic, plot, etc.

Shakespeare Resource Center - Shakespeare's Biography, Works (Plays, Poetry), Language and Grammar, Will, Study, Authorship Debate, Globe Theatre, Elizabethan England. etc.

TIP: When searching Google for other sites on Shakespeare and his works:

  • Click on the Advanced Search link and set domain to .edu
  • Look for articles and essays by scholars, not students.

Citation of Sources

Keep printouts of your sources, or write out all pertinent information on author, title, publisher, date, or Internet address to identify where you got the information. Follow the format recommended by your instructor or ask a librarian to show you a "style manual." You also may use the Citation Style Guides link available on the LPC Library Homepage, as well as the online resource, NoodbleBib, a bibliography composer for help.

Cheryl Warren and Sandy Clark, LPC Library

Please feel free to call a reference librarian for help!


Last Updated: October 2, 2009



Page last modified: August 25, 2014