Book Review: Macbeth

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Macbeth by William Shakespeare – Paperback, 128 pages – Published 2005 by Wordsworth Editions

So we’re studying extracts of this play in English at the moment, and I decided to read the whole thing through. I’m not going to write a proper review on it, as I’ll be writing an essay on the book soon for school and would just get too fed up of it!

I’m pretty sure everyone is aware of Shakespeare’s writing. He was, of course, a play-write, not intending for any of his stories to be simply read off a page. Macbeth (or “The Scottish Play”) is one of his most popular, powerful plays, with a famous superstition stemming from it.

The story follows Macbeth after he meets three witches – the Weyard Sisters – who predict that he will become a powerful man, and eventually king. His wife, Lady Macbeth, is desperate for him to achieve this power, and urges Macbeth to assassinate the current king. Macbeth becomes arrogant, and drunk on power. In the end, he loses himself to the crown.

Lady Macbeth is an intriguing character. She is willing to give up anything and everything for the position of queen, but when it finally happens, she is ridden with guilt. She spends her nights sleepwalking, trying to remove the blood of the king from her hands.

Macbeth himself is also rather interesting. We see him become more cocky as the Sisters tell him that he cannot die by the hand of any man who is of woman-born – because of this, he believes himself to be invincible. Of course, that isn’t quite the case.

Shakesperean writing isn’t the easiest to read. The language is old and hard to understand for many people, not to mention that William Shakespeare liked to make his own vocabulary up. But the general gist of the plot is easy enough to follow, and it is a rather powerful play. There are tons of movie adaptations, including one to be released next month. It’s a short book, but not a quick and easy read as it takes a bit of effort to decode the writing. So I’m going to have to say Macbeth gets 3.5 stars from me.

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