This year is 1000th birthday of the real Macbeth (1005-1056), King of Scotland from 1040-1056. This course examines the real Macbeth and what happened to his image historically as a result of temporal and cultural misunderstandings.

The course looks at the real Macbeth and then some of the productions in which he has been presented in various guises. The first week deals with what social scientists know about Scotland in the 11th century and Macbeth and his rule in particular.

The remaining weeks look at several productions of the Shakespeare play Macbeth and variations on the story both in the west and abroad.

Schedule of Classes for the Spring Term



Shakespeare, William Macbeth

Thurber, James "The Macbeth Murder Mystery" in James Thurber, 1945 The Thurber Carnival Harper and Brothers, NY pp. 60-63


Students have an option between a paper and a final examination.


(Tentative films)

Week 1: The Real Macbeth: Welles' version of Shakespeare's Macbeth

Week 2: Variation 1: The Royal Shakespeare Company's version of Shakespeare's Macbeth

Week 3: Variation 2. Roman Polanski's Macbeth

Week 4: Variation 3: The Japanese version by Kurosawa: Throne of Blood

Week 5: Variation 4: Macbeth updated Joe Macbeth

Bibliography about the historical Macbeth:

Ellis,Peter Berresford 1980 Macbeth Frederick Muller Ltd. London

Honeyman, Brenda 1977 Macbeth, King of Scots Robert Hale, London

Ruskin of Marr, R. 1930 Macbeth Robert Carruthers and Sons, Inverness