I am trying to typeset a MacBeth edition for my English classes with additional commentaries. My main question is understanding how to influence the width of the verses - they are often a bit longer and then a linebreak occurs, which makes it look a bit chaotic.

See for example numbered verses 11, 23, 24 and more. The text is an excerpt from Scene 1-2.

I managed to move the speakers a bit to the left, see preamble code "setlength speaksskip". I'd like to expand the whole block a bit. Any ideas?


\clubpenalty = 10000
\widowpenalty = 10000
\displaywidowpenalty = 10000



\author{William Shakespeare}



    \Character[DUNCAN, King of Scotland]{Duncan}{dunc}

    \begin{CharacterGroup}{his sons}

    \Character[Lords, Gentlemen, Officers, Soldiers, Murderers, Attendants, and Messengers; the Ghost of Banquo, and other Apparitions]{}{}




        \StageDir{A desert place}



    What bloody man is that? He can report,\\
    As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt\\
    The newest state.\\
    This is the sergeant\\
    Who like a good and hardy soldier fought\\
    'Gainst my captivity. Hail, brave friend!\\
    Say to the king the knowledge of the broil\footnote{broil = fight}\\
    As thou didst leave it.\\
    Doubtful it stood;\\
    As two spent swimmers, that do cling together\\
    And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald--\\
    Worthy to be a rebel, for to that\\
    The multiplying villanies of nature\\
    Do swarm upon him -- from the Western Isles\footnote{The Hebrides, a group of islands west of Scotland}\\
    Of kerns and gallowglasses\footnote{kerns = Celtic light-armored soldiers; gallowglasses = a form of mercenaries usually protecting Celtic chiefs} is supplied;\\
    And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,\\
    Show'd like a rebel's whore: but all's too weak:\\
    For brave Macbeth -- well he deserves that name--\\
    Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,\\
    Which smoked with bloody execution,\\
    Like valour's minion carved out his passage\\
    Till he faced the slave;\\
    Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,\\
    Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,\\
    And fix'd his head upon our battlements.\\
    O valiant cousin! worthy gentleman!\\
    As whence the sun 'gins his reflection\footnote{e.g.: From where the sun begins to rise; see also below "whence" = where, from where}\\
    Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break,\\
    So from that spring whence comfort seem'd to come\\
    Discomfort swells. Mark, king of Scotland, mark:\\
    No sooner justice had with valour arm'd\\
    Compell'd these skipping kerns to trust their heels,\\
    But the Norweyan lord surveying vantage,\\
    With furbish'd arms and new supplies of men\\
    Began a fresh assault.\\



  • 1
    \setlength{\leftmargini}{1em} should work. Btw: I do find it a bit curious that your write MacBeth in the title, but Macbeth in the text. – Ulrike Fischer Aug 13 '16 at 16:13
  • @UlrikeFischer Presumably the title is a new one coined by the OP for this edition, whereas the text is the original by Shakespeare. A bit like Collected Works of Shakespeare, but without the collecting. – cfr Aug 14 '16 at 2:34
  • @UlrikeFischer: Thanks for both. Sloppyness - bad attitude. It's not a for-profit edition, just something for and with my students so they can enjoy studying Shakespeare and have something to keep and remember at the end. – Sebastian Aug 15 '16 at 12:29

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