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Macbeth
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August 2020: Witches > [pb]Macbeth by William Shakespeare, 3 stars

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message 1: by NancyJ (last edited Aug 25, 2020 11:27PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5680 comments I somehow missed this play in school, and in many summers of Shakespeare in the Park, but I figured how hard can it be? Well, I had to read it 3 times. First on audio: The witches were great - spooky and witchy, when they tell Macbeth about a prophesy that he will become King (but his heirs will not). Lady Macbeth was greedy for power and she convinces her husband to kill the king now to make the prophesy come true faster. Later they were both deeply (and melodramatically) despondent.

The female roles in this play are nice and juicy, even when I didn't understand everything. Large chunks of dialogue though were incomprehensible. I needed to see the words to be able to hear them, if you know what I mean. The popular quote about alcohol came through loud and clear: " Drink... it provokes the desire but takes away the performance."

Then I picked up the play in the library. I found a "No Fear Shakespeare" version that had both the original text and a modern interpretation. I really enjoyed some of the original language, especially when I read it out loud. Again, the female parts were more interesting to me, while others would find the men's machinations - and war - more interesting.

There was a long scene during a banquet, in which Macbeth hallucinates that he sees the man he just had killed, sitting in the room, and even in his own chair. He starts talking to the ghost while his wife frantically tries to excuse his behavior in front of the other men. It was repetitive (and eye roll inducing) on the page, but I imagine it could be hysterical when seen on the stage with good actors. The end doesn't work out well for either of them. I guess the moral of the story is: Don't kill people. If you do, the guilt will drive you crazy. And of course, don't believe prophesies from witches. They will cause you to do stupid things.


Darci Day | 162 comments This is my favorite Shakespeare play. But it’s one that definitely suffers from being read. It really has to be seen to be fully grasped.


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