“The Tragedy of Macbeth” by William Shakespeare

Comprised of five acts, The Tragedy of Macbeth starts as three witches agree to meet up again after a battle is fought. Originally, Macbeth starts off being portrayed as a hero, having led King Duncan’s forces successfully in battle, and hence will get a new title. The witches flatter his ego by telling him of the titles he will receive – more than he could ever have hoped – and that he will become king, ultimately.

“Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble!” {pg. 82}

From then on, Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth become ‘evil’, and pursue the witches’ prediction, and plot to kill Duncan. They have become greedy from the prediction. The play then follows their corruption, the murders they commit, and their ultimate downfall.

I prefer to watch Shakespeare’s plays rather than read them, especially when they’re very long. Lucky for me, The Tragedy of Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s shortest plays and probably has the easiest message to comprehend-the corrupted nature of power and greed, and the terrible affects it can have. However, The Tradegy of Macbeth is Shakespeare’s equvilent of a summer blockbuster. Entertaining with lots of action (fight scenes, murder), oddities (witches, ghosts, prophesies, hallucinations, and insanity) but poor character development and nothing intellectual to take from the play.

Book Mentioned:

  • Shakespeare, William. “The Tragedy of Macbeth”. New York: Signet Classics, 1998. Originally published 1605. Print. 228 pgs. ISBN: 0451526775. Source: School copy.
Book Cover © Signet Classics. Retrieved: October 31, 2008.
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