I read this book as a sophomore in high school and was one of the only people in my class who liked it. I love the elemental symbolism within it, theI read this book as a sophomore in high school and was one of the only people in my class who liked it. I love the elemental symbolism within it, the story in general, and I especially love the way Hester stands up to the rest of the town, remaining true to her feelings and loved ones in spite of all that happens to her....more
Basic plot: Macbeth runs across some witches who predict he will be the king of Scotland. In order to bring his fate about, he embarks on a course thaBasic plot: Macbeth runs across some witches who predict he will be the king of Scotland. In order to bring his fate about, he embarks on a course that brings about his ultimate downfall.
I've been teaching this play for many years now, for many different high school courses, and it's definitely a favorite. I can quote most of the play from memory, and it's not just because I've taught it so much. Many of the lines speak to me (and my students): the ones about life and purpose, the ones of self-doubt and questioning if one is on the right path, and particularly the ones about weighing an action's merit before embarking on an important course of action.
I always tell my students that the tragedy of this play is not that Macbeth dies. We all know what happens to the title character in a Shakespeare play, that end is inevitable. The real tragedy here is that a good man went bad; that he did, in fact, have to die because he screwed up so very badly. I mean, all of us want good things from life. Nobody wants to live a crappy existence with no chance for betterment. But how far are you willing to go to climb that social/political/business ladder? What consequences are you willing to live with?
Shakespeare created a real masterpiece in Macbeth that teaches us about the dangers of too much ambition, especially when that ambition comes to fruition due to ruthlessness. There's certainly something to be said for biding one's time, working hard, and reaping a just reward due to good behavior....more
Basic Plot: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"
Medea is the original jilted wife. The woman who sacrifices everything for the man she loves and sBasic Plot: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"
Medea is the original jilted wife. The woman who sacrifices everything for the man she loves and still ends up getting thrown over for a younger, richer woman. No wonder she's bitter. I can't say that I don't see where she's coming from. The play, though ancient, is masterfully written and catches the depths of her despair. It is something any woman who has ever suffered from an unfaithful husband comprehends.
The play becomes a demented sort of wish-fulfillment fantasy as we see Medea actually get to enact her revenge by killing everyone her ex loves, whereas most of us only dream of assaulting the "other woman" and would NEVER think of harming our children, no matter their connection to their father. Herein lies the tragedy of this play. She is so far gone that she sacrifices their innocence, their potential, their ability to make the world a better place by being raised in a more positive manner than their father, just to get revenge on her schmuck of an ex.
I have to say, life experiences being what they are, and really feeling some sympathy for Medea's plight, I still can't condone the end of the play where she kills her own children. That's too much for me. The play is powerful, moreso now than when I read it as part of my education, and even more horrifying than ever....more