I’m not sure how I never had to read Macbeth in its entirety when I was in school, but I didn’t, and despite feeling like I knew many little pieces of it via cultural osmosis/Drunk Shakespeare/Sleep No More/Hamilton song lyrics/having to learn Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking speech in junior high English class, when I told my fiancĂ© that I “knew the plot”, what actually came out of my mouth when he said “yeah? tell me” was basically “Macbeth wants to be king; some murders are done; there are witches.” Having read it, I’ll stick to that as my plot summary. But I’m glad I did finally read it, even if it is not my favorite Shakespeare play. As you presumably already know, Macbeth’s “black and deep desires” and “vaulting ambition” don’t turn out so well for him or for Lady Macbeth, but at least the two of them have some great speeches along the way. I liked finally experiencing the play’s many highlights in their full context—the dagger vision in act 2 scene 1; Banquo’s ghost; the “weird sisters” and their prophecies, all in their proper place in the play as a whole.

2 Responses to “Macbeth by William Shakespeare”

  1. Jenny @ Reading the End Says:

    Aw, I’m happy you got to read this! It’s prooooobably my favorite of the tragedies, though that may just be because it’s the first of the tragedies that I ever read, so I imprinted on it. It’s also very much my Aesthetic, and I always find unbearably suspenseful that thing where someone has done a wrong and is waiting to be found out.

  2. Heather Says:

    It is interesting to think about formative Shakespeare experiences! I think Romeo and Juliet was the first Shakespeare play that I read and also the first that I saw (not counting some attempts at reading one of the Henry plays when I was wayyyy too young – my mom had a big volume of Shakespeare plays on the shelf at my grandparents’ house, left over from her college days or drama school days, and I remember starting it so many times, and putting it down every time) but my favorite was definitely The Tempest, probably in no small part because the high school English teacher in whose class I read it was really great. It now occurs to me that I’ve only ever read Shakespeare in a classroom context – it was fun to read Macbeth on my own but now I wonder if I would have liked it more if it had been assigned to me at some point!

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