Kenneth Muir was King Alfred Professor of English Literature at Liverpool University from 1951-1974. He edited a wide array of Shakespeare's plays, including King Lear, Othello, Richard II, and Troilus and Cressida. His books include Shakespeare as Collaborator, Shakespeare's Tragic Sequence, and Last Periods of Shakespeare, Racine, Ibsen.
Muir's introduction to Macbeth delves first into the history of the text itself, including notes on the first printings and when they were produced. Next, the editor analyzes the Porter scene and other portions of the play that have raised the question of its authorship. A discussion of the play's sources precedes Muir's edition of the play itself. The book includes four appendices: "Holinshed," "Bucganan," "Leslie," and additional notes from the 1984 reissue of this text. A list of abbreviations used also appears.
The Arden Shakespeare has developed a reputation as the pre-eminent critical edition of Shakespeare for its exceptional scholarship, reflected in the thoroughness of each volume. An introduction comprehensively contextualizes the play, chronicling the history and culture that surrounded and influenced Shakespeare at the time of its writing and performance, and closely surveying critical approaches to the work. Detailed appendices address problems like dating and casting, and analyze the differing Quarto and Folio sources. A full commentary by one or more of the play’s foremost contemporary scholars illuminates the text, glossing unfamiliar terms and drawing from an abundance of research and expertise to explain allusions and significant background information. Highly informative and accessible, Arden offers the fullest experience of Shakespeare available to a reader.