The text of Macbeth as it appears in successive editions of Shakespeare’s collected works.
The first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays (STC 22273) – formatwise a folio in sixes. (That is, it consists of gatherings of three sheets folded together. The same is true for the next three editions.) Macbeth is part 3, pp. 131–51.
The second folio edition (STC 22274), copied page for page from the first. Macbeth begins at part 3, p. 151. There are a few attempted corrections, but it cannot be supposed that they have any authority. There are also numerous errors: in two places a whole line has been dropped. All in all, this edition is an unsatisfactory piece of work. The only reason for not ignoring it is that many of the guesses and mistakes made here were allowed by default to persist into subsequent editions.
The third folio edition (Wing S2913), copied page for page and quire for quire from the second. The spelling was mostly modernized. Macbeth begins at p. 711.
The fourth and last folio edition (Wing S2915), copied from the third, with the number of lines per column increased (from 66 to 74). Macbeth is part 3, pp. 40–58.
Macbeth in the octavo edition printed for Jacob Tonson in 1709, copied from the fourth folio edition, but quite thoroughly ‘revis'd and corrected’ by Nicholas Rowe. There is an engraved frontispiece for each play: the one for Macbeth is a view of the parade of apparitions in act 4, scene 1.
A facsimile reprint (which I have not seen) was published in 1999, with an added introduction.
A second printing of Rowe’s edition, possibly later than 1709 (though that is still the date which appears on the title-page) but earlier than 1714. The differences are slight, but some of them seem to be intentional.
The reprint of Rowe’s edition reprinted in 12mo format, with a few further adjustments. The new frontispiece, drawn and engraved by Louis Du Guernier, is a loose copy of the one in the octavo edition.
Macbeth in the quarto edition printed for Jacob Tonson in 1723–5, copied from the 12mo reprint of Rowe’s edition, newly ‘collated and corrected’ by Alexander Pope. There is no frontispiece.
Pope’s edition reprinted in 12mo format, with a few further adjustments. The frontispiece is the same plate made for the 12mo printing of Rowe’s edition: only the direction to the binder has been altered.
The first-ever separate edition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth – a 12mo booklet printed for Tonson and others in 1729 – took its text and footnotes from this 12mo reprint of Pope’s edition.