My goal is to eventually make my way through all of these must-read titles.
I’ve known for a while that it would be a stretch to read some of the earlier books, and in the case of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, it would be excruciating. So, I did what any student in my situation would… I rented the movie.
In my defense, A.J. Hartley calls Macbeth “a must watch as well as a must read.” And I learned long ago that it’s far easier to understand Shakespeare when I’m seeing and hearing his words brought to life, rather than trying to read them. I guarantee that had I tried reading the play, all thrill would have been lost.
As it was, the chilling atmosphere was the first thing that struck me, even as I was still getting used to the rhythm and manner of the characters’ speech. Hartley claims that “Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare’s most atmospheric drama,” and while I don’t have much to compare to, this BBC adaptation alone is strong evidence that it could be true.
Unfortunately, as the play builds towards its ending, I found myself losing interest. The quiet terror of the earlier acts gives way to politics and battle. In fact, put into modern terms, I’d say that the play is a blend of psychological thriller and political thriller… and it’s just that I’m personally more drawn to the former than the latter.
“However we experience the play, it’s clear that little in literature can match its study of political murder, its consequences, and the impulse to confront a world that seems to be conspiring against our future.” Must-read or must-watch, it’s still a great classic thriller.
Twenty-three down, seventy-seven to go…
Next month I’ll be discussing John Lescroart’s The 13th Juror.