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I have always enjoyed watching a good play but when I read Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth I didn’t need a stage or actors to keep me interested. Set in Scotland still bloody from a great war Macbeth is a chilling and exciting story about greed, betrayal, revenge and the lengths at which people will go to gain power.

The play begins on a battle field where a battle between Scotland and Norway has taken place. There three mysterious witches brew their dark potions and when Macbeth, a noble general fighting for the king of Scotland, stumbles upon them they prophesize that one day he will be king of Scotland. Macbeth at first does not believe this prediction, but after discussing it over with his wife (Lady Macbeth) they decide that the throne is theirs to take and plan the unsuspecting king’s murder. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth then must attempt to avoid the consequences and guilt of their actions and try and seal their gain of the kingdom.

Being an actress myself, I enjoy a good character and Macbeth is full of thought-provoking and memorable characters. The character Lady Macbeth especially made the story memorable for me because of her many powerful monologues and ambitious plans. Throughout the story she is the one motivating and aiding Macbeth through his evil deeds and covers for him on many occasion when the other thanes and nobles have suspicions.

Another reason I loved this play so much was because of the way it was written. Shakespeare’s creative and unique descriptions kept me thinking outside the box. For example, when the witches describe their terrible actions and potions I got goose bumps because I could picture the scene so well. His unique comparison of Lady Macbeth’s guilt to a blood stain she cannot remove has also been one of the most well-known quotes from the book.


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Though this play is amazing and in my opinion, Shakespeare tragedy at its best, it is hard to read and you can easily get lost in the endless old English dialogue. I suggest an annotated version of this book so you can fully appreciate the story. The end of this play stunned me and there were many scenes where I was at the edge of my seat shouting right along with Macbeth. It is definitely worth the read and a story you will never forget.

Macbeth by William Shakespeare Compare to Greek Play

Lies, deceit, treachery, poison, knives in the night, justified paranoia, guilt, revenge... it is all there, and more, in this classic story of how the lust for power can literally drive people crazy. It can also kill them. I first read this play of William Shakespeare as a high school reading assignment, the way the vast majority of people do. Lo’ these many years later, I’ve undertaken a project of re-reading a lot of those H.S. reading assignments, including the plays of Shakespeare, in part to determine how much I missed the first time around, which, in two short words is normally: a lot.

The play is set in Scotland. The king is Duncan. His not faithful lord, called “thane” in Scotland at the time, is Macbeth. And he has a wife who has become a symbol of all wives who relentlessly push their husbands to be “successful,” and who is normally addressed with the misnomer of “Lady.” (“That’s no lady, that’s my wife”...but I digress). As Cliff Notes will tell you, Duncan is murdered in his sleep, with those proverbial “long knives.” Macbeth skillfully diverts the blame to his body guards, who are conveniently also killed (a death man tells no tales) while also casting suspicion on Duncan’s sons, who have fled for their lives to further shores. How many times, throughout all the cultures and civilizations of the world, has this scenario basically unfolded?

Throughout many of his plays Shakespeare utilizes elements from the ancient Greek plays, such as prophecy and a “chorus” that predicts future events, often esoterically. In this play, Shakespeare uses three witches around a cauldron, stirring, and if there is one line that most people remember from the play, it is the first line of their chorus: “Double, double, toil and trouble.”