Scripts of Macbeth

By the time that it came to be printed, the script of Macbeth was in a sorry state. One scene at least had been incompetently cut about; some passages and some whole scenes had been inserted. It is not to be assumed that all of these additions were changes for the worse, but some of them certainly were. They fail to articulate properly with the rest of the play; and therefore they make it more difficult – in some cases they make it impossible – to understand what is happening. There is no hope of restoring Macbeth to its original form, even supposing that were thought to be desirable, but some of the alterations made to it can easily be reversed. Once the damage has been undone, people will be more able to follow the plot of the play, whether they are reading it or acting in it or watching a performance of it. The better they understand it, the more they are going to enjoy it.