In this Guide, we have explored key examples of essential criticism of Macbeth from the seventeenth century to the end of the twentieth century. We have examined interpretations which approach the play from a wide variety of angles — for example, character, tragedy, imagery, philosophy, history, politics, psychology, psychoanalysis and feminism — and we have seen that each of these approaches has yielded insights, intriguing suggestions and topics for further debate. Most critics today see criticism as fruitfully interminable — it can never come to an end, never deliver the complete, final and definitive interpretation of a text — and criticism of Shakespeare seems an especially vivid demonstration of this. We know there is much more to say about Macbeth. In what directions might Macbeth criticism develop in the early twenty-first century?
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