Rebecca's Reviews > Macbeth

Macbeth by William Shakespeare
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Sep 20, 11

bookshelves: classics, drama
Read in September, 2011

I've seen Macbeth performed, but I'd never actually gotten around to reading it until now. Of the super-famous Shakespeare tragedies (R&J, Hamlet, Lear, Othello, Julius Caesar), I think this one's my favorite. (My actual favorite is Antony and Cleopatra, but that one gets a lot less love.)

I think a lot of it is that the lead characters are a lot less annoying. Oh, Macbeth wobbles a bit, but his wife pushes him right back on track to Tragedy Land. It's not like Hamlet's endless indecision. At the same time, while he's an evil guy, I hated him a lot less than Lear. Macbeth's honest with his ambition and what it makes him do. He's not completely delusional like Lear or Othello, and so I don't spend half the play wanting to strangle him.

Meanwhile, he and his wife each get some amazing speeches. But I have to say that (spoilers?) Macduff mourning his family is one of the most touching, even if it can descend to maudlin in the hands of a bad actor.

Plus, the pacing is excellent, moving right along with unstoppable force, as any good parable of destiny should. It also has somewhat fewer of the convoluted puns that tend to trip up modern audiences.

I'm not even going to bother comparing this to works by people other than Shakespeare.

Have you read this? Or at least, seen it? No? It's not going to take you much time, I promise. Go on. Shoo!
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