A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death.
There are two main reasons why one should love this play:
First off, Lady Macbeth is an amazing character. Others might criticize her for being the morally reprehensible of the two protagonists, planting ideas in her husband’s head that he would not have otherwise formed, encouraging him toward evil deeds that he would not have otherwise committed. I disagree. She may have made a mistake helping to plan Duncan’s murder, but if anything Lady Macbeth is the one with her moral faculties still intact—she exhibits a profound sense of remorse at the end of the play that Macbeth recognizes as nothing short of an ailment for which to seek a cure. While Macbeth is off slaughtering anyone who might threaten his regal standing, his wife is at home rubbing the blood off her hands until the blisters explode and she suffocates in a pool of her own doing. Much like the character Kurtz from heart of Darkness, they were both over powered by their lust for wealth and fame but were both successful in dying knowing that they remained human by still having a sense of guilt associated with thier actions.
The second reason to love this play is the eloquence of the language. There are passages in this play that describe human emotion so briefly, yet so profoundly it triggers goosebumps. These are some of my favorites:
On mastering the act of equivocation:
To beguile the time,
Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under it.
This right here is my favourite quote from the whole story of Macbeth. Reasons:I find this both very eery and conforting at the same time. This quote right there as given Macbeth a title of How to pull a Fascade 101. Coming from Lady Macbeth – the main driver of the plot – the cunning, manipulative individual she is, I thought of this as a way for Shakespeare giving the readers a glimpse of the true personality of who she is. One of the many reasons why I just can’t get my head off of this quote is how relatable it is. We all have been in a situation where we find ourselves not exactly haooy with the company of people we are sorrounded by but instead of letting out our fustration, anger, or perhaps hatred, we put on fascade that everything is all right and jolly. Infact, those around us at the time might believe themselves to be one of your most admirable acquintance but little did they know that you just pulled a Lady Macbeth line on them.
It also speaks to the human condition of trying to fit in…….
On expressing one’s grief:
What, man! ne’er pull your hat upon your brows;
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.
On not having enough gumption:
Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great;
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it.
On contemplating ambition’s worth:
Nought’s had, all’s spent,
Where our desire is got without content:
’Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.
On being past the point of no return:
All causes shall give way: I am in blood
Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er.
On the futility of life:
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
On the finality of death:
There’s nothing serious in mortality:
All is but toys: renown and grace is dead;
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.