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.
Macbeth in the octavo edition printed for Arthur Bettesworth and Charles Hitch and others in 1733, copied from the 12mo reprint of Pope’s edition, revised by Lewis Theobald. There is no frontispiece.
A separate 12mo edition of Macbeth, copied from Theobald’s octavo, was published in 1734. The frontispiece used there is the plate drawn and engraved by Du Guernier for the 12mo reprint (1714) of Rowe’s edition, already reused for the 12mo reprint (1728) of Pope’s edition. The separate 12mo was reprinted in 1745, with a copy of Du Guernier's frontispiece engraved by Gerard Vander Gucht, and at intervals again after that.
Theobald’s edition reprinted in 12mo format, with a few further adjustments. There is a new frontispiece – Macbeth confronted by Banquo’s ghost – drawn by Henry Gravelot and angraved by Gerard Vander Gucht.
This edition was reprinted page for page in 1752 and 1757 and almost page for page in 1762. The next 12mo edition, published in 1767, was (for some reason unknown to me) copied from the original octavo; it was reprinted page for page in 1773. All of these editions have the same Gravelot plate for a frontispiece.
Macbeth in the octavo edition printed for John and Paul Knapton and others in 1747, copied from the 12mo reprint of Theobald’s edition, embellished by William Warburton.
Macbeth in the octavo edition printed for Jacob and Richard Tonson in 1765, copied from Warburton’s edition, revised and annotated by Samuel Johnson.
Reprinted page for page, with a few small adjustments.
Macbeth edited by Samuel Johnson and George Steevens. Copied from the first printing of Johnson’s edition. The revision of the text was Steevens’s responsibility.
Copied from the previous edition.
Copied from the previous edition. Seen through the press by Isaac Reed.
Macbeth edited by Edmond Malone. Copied from Johnson and Steevens’s second edition. Added at the end are the lyrics for ‘Speak, sister, speak’ and ‘Come away, come away’ (but not for ‘Black spirits, white spirits’), copied from one of the editions of D’Avenant’s play.
Copied from Malone’s edition. (Added at the end are large extracts from Middleton’s The Witch, the sole surviving copy of which was in Steevens’s possession by this time. I have not transcribed them.)
Copied from Steevens’s marked-up copy of the previous edition. Seen through the press by Isaac Reed, with help from William Harris.
Copied page for page from the previous edition. Seen through the press by William Harris.
Macbeth edited by James Boswell. Copied from Johnson and Steevens’s fifth edition.