Macbeth — the wrap-up

OK. So. Macbeth.

I remember liking it before. Liked it coming into the project and these past two months.


And these two months and this discussion have done nothing to lessen my love for the play. This is one of those vibrant plays, a rocket-powered adrenaline rush of a play (save only for that interminable Act Four, Scene Three talkfest between Malcolm and Macduff… but is it interminable only because it isn’t as breathless as the rest of the play?).

This, quite frankly, is my second most favorite play of the Canon (at least thus far), trailing only Romeo and Juliet, and supplanting the previous number two, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There just aren’t that many weak spots in it, and its strengths are awesome.

And as my midpoint discussion touched upon a few days back, there’s now something I’m seeing in our title character–a certain level of desperation, an almost pathological (fitful, perhaps) lack of natural confidence–that I find absolutely fascinating.

Macbeth would be, in my opinion, one of the best plays to use to introduce the Bard to students. It’s got–as I mentioned over the course of 15 (count’em 15!) blog entries–a boatload of video versions out there, at least four of which are some of the best Shakespearean adaptations (of any play) out there… and that doesn’t even count the killer Akira Kurosawa samurai Macbeth, Throne of Blood.

My only regret is that I may not have given this play its due, either in the number or depth of podcasts or in time enough for the play as a whole… despite its length (or lack thereof) there’s just so much in this play, I wish I had take three months instead of two.

But I didn’t, and it’s time to move on… and so Monday, we begin a new play… and while we stay technically in the genre of tragedy, we’re also heading back in history, to a quasi-sequel… we’ll revisit a trio of triumvirs and meet a great queen of Egypt… you got it, next week we meet (and within three months will say a terminal goodbye to) Antony and Cleopatra


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