I’ve finally had the chance to finish reading my first Shakespearean work “The Tragedy of MacBeth”.
Much credit goes to the “Access to Shakespeare” series by Lorenz Educational Publishers, whose books feature a side by side Contemporary English translation of Shakespeare’s original words. The approach does indeed improve accessibility to Shakespeare’s work, making MacBeth an thoroughly enjoyable experience.
By the way, if there’s a testament to the constancy of human nature across the centuries, MacBeth is surely it. Indeed, the quest for power, and unbridled ambition, can leverage an honourable mind to justify unseemly deeds.
Couple that with the serpentine psychological manipulations of the coldest of spouses, Lady MacBeth, and MacBeth is well on his way to meet his doom.
Such is the literary influence of the Lady MacBeth, that many television, film and novel characters have been created in her mold. Consider Claire Underwood (NetFlix’s #HouseOfCards) or Siggy (History Channel’s #Vikings), as they command their men to do whatever must be done to seize the object of their ambitions.
“Yet I do fear thy nature. It is too full of the milk of human nature to catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great; are not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly, thou wouldst holily; wouldst not play false, and yet wouldst wrongly win.” (Lady MacBeth, Act One, Scene 5)
For newly President Frank Underwood, it’s so far so good. For Rollo Lothbrock, not so much. Last we saw, he was begging his brother, Ragnar, forgiveness for taking sides with Ragnar’s forked-tongue enemy.
Shakespeare’s MacBeth is an impressive read, a treatise of sorts on the corrosive effects of ambition run amuck. Definitely required reading for anyone chasing dreams – your methods do matter.