Thursday, August 12, 2010

Book Review: Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Published: 1606
Description (from Goodreads):
One of the great Shakespearean tragedies, Macbeth is a dark and bloody drama of ambition, murder, guilt and revenge. Prompted by the prophecies of three mysterious witches and goaded by his ambitious wife, the Scottish thane Macbeth murders Duncan, King of Scotland, in order to succeed him on the throne. This foul deed soon entangles the conscience-stricken nobleman in a web of treachery, deceit and more murders that ultimately spells his doom.

My thoughts:
I bet I am not the only one who thinks that picking up a Shakespeare play and starting to read it a bit of a challenge. It may even feel scary. You might feel like you are not intelligent enough to read Shakespeare. At least that is what I thought before. When I heard that 'Macbeth' is going to be the final book we read for my English class, I decided to pick it up earlier and before familiar with it.

Macbeth, as a play, was familiar to me. I was lucky enough to see Macbeth as a play at Shakespeare's Globe at London on April 2010. It was the most amazing theater performance I've ever seen. Everything was on place on it; actors, staging, sounds, lighting etc. And I got to see Elliot Cowan as Macbeth, which was an amazing experience. 

Macbeth is a story about Scottish thane called Macbeth. According to prophecies by three witches he is the one who should be the king of Scotland. With the help of his wife, Lady Macbeth, a woman with her own problems, Macbeth kills the Duncan, the king of Scotland to get the throne to himself. Duncas's sons flee the country after the murder and Macbeth gets the throne. But through the gaining of power comes fear. He commits more and more murders to prevent the loss of his power. Eventually Macbeth and his wife both get mad and lost, they do not know what is the reality and what is the truth. 

I really liked Macbeth. It is dark, twisted and full of blood and drama. While reading the play I constantly went back to the play at Globe, remembering some parts really well. Macbeth is pushed by her wife, she wants power and fame. After committing the first murder Macbeth cannot forgot what he did, and the people he murdered keep haunting him. 

I am happy that next Spring I will be reading Macbeth again for my English class. I can't wait the discussions we will have about the book, it will be really interesting. I recommend Macbeth to everyone, it is a great play which has stayed popular for decades. William Shakespeare truly is the master of English literature.

(look at Elliot Cowan, he is so dreamy...)


  1. I agree with you, reading Shakespeare may seem really scary at first, but once you get used to him, you are in for a great experience. Great review of "Macbeth". This really is a great tragedy, with lots of cool drama.
    And I completely agree, Elliot Cowan is just yummy.;)

  2. Today my teacher told me that instead for reading Macbeth, we are going to read the Tempest. Just great... But well, I get to read some Shakespeare. But I am a bit pissed because I was waiting for the discussions about Macbeth. But well, maybe in University then. :)

  3. i read this one recently too and really enjoyed it.

    you may also like a modern YA spin on the story called Lady MacBeth's Daughter by Lisa M. Klein

  4. This is one of our IB texts at school, and also a possible text for our IOC.

    My teacher loves to discuss this play.I don't like it much. However, I think it starts to make more sense after you've finished it and reread it.

  5. Brave Chickens, I so wish this would be one of your IB texts as well... But at least we get to read some Shakespeare.

    Carrie, thanks for the book recommendation, I will check it out from Goodreads. At least your description sounds really interesting. :)


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