It is well known that Macbeth is the shortest of Shakespeare's tragedies, leading many critics to speculate that the text first printed in the Folio was heavily edited version of what was originally a play of similar length to Othello and King Lear. Certainly there is evidence that the text contains interpolations drawn from the work of Thomas Middleton and that some scenes may have been heavily cut (see Wilson, 1947).
The Shakespeare Notebooks do not contain a complete version of the play, but give us some tantalising glimpse of what it may have contained, as it features alternative versions of several scenes along with some omitted material. It seems that Shakespeare originally intended for the play (then entitled The True Tragedie of Macbeth) to contain an additional subplot and three extra characters. It seems likely they were omitted from the finished play for reasons of staging, of dramatic unity, and of plausibility. What is interesting, though, is that Shakespeare seems to have been working from a source for the play in addition to Holinshed's Chronicles...
- Second Doctor
- Jamie McCrimmon
- Zoe Heriot
- Lady Macbeth
- Lady Macduff
- The Doctor gives Banquo a perception filter.
- The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe inadvertently become the "Weird Sisters" of which the Macbeth mythos speaks.
to be added