I finished The Tragedy of Macbeth about two weeks ago. I took a break from Shakespeare to indulge my current obsession with the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. But now it’s time to move on and continue with my Shakespeare read. Because Macbeth was a dark tragedy and this month I’m feeling rather jovial I’m going to read the only Comedy on my list, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Macbeth was an amazing character piece about the descent into evil that greed and wickedness bring. A decorated hero succumbs to pride murdering his King, sending him and his wife down a spiral of murderous evil and eventual destruction. Lady Macbeth stole the play with her evil. From now on every female antagonist will be judged against her. The obvious comparison that springs to mind is GRRM’s Cersei Lannister, but even her incestual evil is no match. Cersei loved her children and her actions can be framed as protecting them, but Lady Macbeth was barren evil, stating that she would willingly dash her infant’s brains against rocks to have her way.
Before I move on I wanted to also mention that I highly recommend the 2015 Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. It’s dark, moody, and violent, capturing the feel of the play exactly how I pictured it. The soundtrack is also really excellent and worth giving a listen, the title track a Swans song.
The other Macbeth movie I plan on watching is Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood. It’s Macbeth played by the great Toshiro Mifune is rewritten to take place in feudal Japan and stylised as a Noh drama. As soon as I have some free time I’m going to give it a watch.