Macbeth painting by Henry Fuseli
Henry Fuseli's painting of Macbeth with the witches (Act 4, scene 1; 1793)

Shakespeare Reading Group: Macbeth

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 6:00pm
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 6:00pm
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 6:00pm
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 6:00pm
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 6:00pm
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 6:00pm
  • Conference Room - Administration Wing
Join a community reading and discussion of Shakespeare's Macbeth—a play that delves into the issues of moral values, time, tyranny and witchcraft.

This group is filled to capacity. Registration will put you on a wait list in case someone gives up a spot.

Led by William Shakespeare aficionado Carl Steidtmann, this six-week reading group is for both first-time and experienced Shakespeare readers. As a participatory discussion, this group is for anyone who might like to do some reading aloud, acting or presenting. The overall emphasis is on enjoyment of Macbeth as the group discusses the play, reads brief excerpts together, studies a theatrical presentation, and learns about the playwright and his world.

About Macbeth

Macbeth, set primarily in Scotland, mixes witchcraft, prophecy, and murder. Three "Weïrd Sisters" appear to Macbeth and his comrade Banquo after a battle and prophesy that Macbeth will be king and that the descendants of Banquo will also reign. When Macbeth arrives at his castle, he and Lady Macbeth plot to assassinate King Duncan, soon to be their guest, so that Macbeth can become king. After Macbeth murders Duncan, the king's two sons flee, and Macbeth is crowned. Fearing that Banquo's descendants will, according to the  Weïrd Sisters’ predictions, take over the kingdom, Macbeth has Banquo killed. At a royal banquet that evening, Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost appear covered in blood. Macbeth determines to consult the Weïrd Sisters again. They comfort him with ambiguous promises.

Another nobleman, Macduff, rides to England to join Duncan's older son, Malcolm. Macbeth has Macduff's wife and children murdered. Malcolm and Macduff lead an army against Macbeth, as Lady Macbeth goes mad and commits suicide. Macbeth confronts Malcolm’s army, trusting in the Weïrd Sisters’ comforting promises. He learns that the promises are tricks, but continues to fight. Macduff kills Macbeth and Malcolm becomes Scotland's king.

Macbeth was published for the first time in the 1623 First Folio (F1) and that text is the basis for all modern editions of the play.
Courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library

About Carl Steidtmann

Carl Steidtmann

After spending 35 years as a professional economist, Carl Steidtmann retired to pursue his youthful passions of history and Shakespeare. After three pilgrimages to Stratford-on Avon and five years participating in Sally Frostic’s annual Shakespeare reading group at the library, he is ready to take on the teaching of this discussion.




"Fair is foul, and foul is fair."
Macbeth, Act I

Want to join the Macbeth group?

The workshop is limited to 30 participants.

The Library will provide copies of Macbeth on loan to everyone. Shakespeare Reading Group participants are asked to commit to the reading and attend most of the sessions. Register online from the link above, or call Adult Programs Coordinator Jennie Lay at 970.879.0240x317.