Discussion Forums - Classic Literature

Topic: Surprised by Macbeth!

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Surprised by Macbeth!
Date Posted: 12/11/2010 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 482
Back To Top

I am reading this play (mostly because it has been helpful to do so for my job - I work in a high school) and I thought "Macbeth, how grim."  Well!  Little did I know, lol!  I guess everybody else is right after all!  It is very gripping. So many human and relatable emotions and motivations are portrayed.  I'm having to work a little to understand what is going on but I have a very helpful Folger Library edition that is smoothing the way for me. Act IV moved me to tears.  I have read and enjoyed other works by Shakespeare, but I don't think I would have tried Macbeth without motivation.  So far my favorite lines are "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."  Now I know what the something wicked is!

Date Posted: 12/12/2010 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
Back To Top

"A little water clears us of this deed"    That phrase still sends shivers down my spine. My Sophmore English teacher, Mr. Griffin might was the equivalent of Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's day off except when he taught us MacBeth. The energy was amazing that he brought to the classroom. It was an all boys school (think Dead Poets Society) and we had a blast.  Great play. Enjoy!

Date Posted: 12/15/2010 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
Posts: 611
Back To Top

Weird coincidence...I had just rented the 1971 Roman Polanski film of MacBeth. It was pretty good, and it was interesting to compare his scenery with what I had created in my head when I read the play. I think watching it would help what you read jell in your mind. I recognized a lot of famous lines that I've heard quoted over the years.  It is cool to find out where they had come from.

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 1/10/2011 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
Back To Top

We have a local Shakespeare Festival where I use to live and I would go every year. Macbeth was one of my favorites to see on stage.

Date Posted: 1/10/2011 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
Back To Top

Before I got so blamed old, I used to go to see Shakespeare performed up in Stratford, Ontario, in the summertime.    It was something I truly relished, and the only things that marred the experience were the times when the plays were transformed into some other ("WRONG") time setting (and costumes), and the one time when the acting company did Titus Andronicus, and after seeing this "suspect" play performed, I am now persuaded that William did NOT write this one!  Ugh, what a bloody thing it was, and I don't mean 'bloody' in the British slang sense, I mean literally . . . . .

But, as to setting Lear, or Macbeth, or one of the non-"historical" plays in a different time frame, sometimes it can work okay, because the loves, hatreds, ambitions, jealousies, sacrifices, cowardices, etc. of the characters aren't confined to one specific time. 

Date Posted: 1/25/2011 8:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 662
Back To Top

I read this along with my high school class last semester.  Some of the students and I really enjoyed watching the new Great Performances version of the play that PBS ran recently starring Patrick Stewart as Macbeth.  It was very dark, and very well done.  I liked this more than I was planning to--but the one that really surprised me was Hamlet.  My daughter (who is in the class) and I wound up liking that play quite a bit.  (She asked for--and received--a DVD of the new Great Performances production of Hamlet for Christmas starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart. Definitely my favorite version.)

(This semester, we get to read comedies.) smiley