I’ve only read Macbeth once before now, and it was halfway through my undergrad, so I didn’t really remember anything about it other than, “Out, damned spot!” and the witches chanting “double, double toil and trouble”. Incidentally, I’m never going to forget that second one, because a) the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban turned it into a song (the kids were holding large toads?????), and b) It’s also the name of a Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen movie I watched obsessively as a child. I HAVE A MASTER’S DEGREE IN LITERATURE.
So Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were a pair of pills, huh? I mean, you can’t even feel bad for them. They fully deserve everything they got. Like, what the heck? You meet three shady witches in the woods and they tell you you’re going to be King, so you think to yourself, hey I GUESS I SHOULD KILL THE KING. And the weird thing is, he doesn’t even seem to really want to be King. It’s more like, man, these ladies said this was gonna happen, so gee, I guess I don’t have a choice! His wife, though, she WANTS THAT. And she’s all up in his business constantly, DO THIS DO THAT DON’T EVEN FEEL BAD ABOUT IT, MAN. And then she’s the one that cracks up in the end.
This is never going to be my favorite Shakespeare play. I just don’t connect with it. And I was suuuuuper rusty. I haven’t read any Shakespeare since 2011, which is when I took my Master’s Exams. But the more I read, the better I got at it, and I swear by the end I felt my IQ climb back up at least a couple points. I should get back into reading more Shakespeare. There’s still a handful of his plays I never got around to. Anyway, this was a good way back in. it’s one of the shorter ones, and I wanted to read it again in prep for Robin Talley’s new YA lesbian Macbeth book that I’m cautiously optimistic about. I’ve heard mixed things but I LOVED her first book, so I’m hoping it’ll work for me.
[3.5 stars, rounding up because it was entertaining, and highly quotable]