September 22, 2010


William Shakespeare

Macbeth is tragic and grim but beautifully written. Though laced with occasional phrases of "adult content," methinks that, for the older reader (perhaps 13+), the marvelous writing style and clever descriptions - not to mention the strong plot - make it a worthy read for a lover of literature.

Heh, I actually read Macbeth in bed with a flashlight, so eager was I to find out "what happens next!" Methinks that indicates a level of literary geekiness that many readers do not share. :) In other words, you may not like it as much as I. However, Macbeth is fairly short, and not too difficult for the reader with the right kind of edition (melikes the helpful kind that, while giving a few pointers as to the definition of tricky Old English words and phrases, still leaves room for ambitious and curious readers to spend a few seconds mulling over some confusing lines, and then to be rewarded with a joyous spark of pride as it all becomes clear.)

From this book I gleaned:

  • A new insult - "Young fry of treachery!" - which I now shout to my brother on occasions.
  • A deeper appreciation and knowledge of Shakespeare's culture.
  • The nearly breathless experience an avid reader undergoes upon reading a gloriously written line.
  • The opportunity to feel sophisticated as I make a bulleted list on a blog post.

Villainous characters reciting their gruesome and terrible morals, witches, and "content" would elevate this to older reader's appropriate level, but those who read it carefully and with discernment can even find their faith uplifted, as I did when I read these lines that Macbeth himself recites:

"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more."

Happily, 'tis not so for we who are Christians. Indeed we often squander our lives in strutting and fretting about, but through no merit of our own, we are not destined to "be heard no more." With inexplicable kindness, God has granted us the gift of dwelling with him for eternity. Marvelous fact, no?


Squeaks said...

Marvelous yes! Great post :) If I didn't know it was YOU who were writing this stuff I'd think it was me XD precisely what I think!

About reading with a flashlight...I do that all the time. I read Hamlet and Midsummer Night's Dream in my bed with the lights out (flashlight in hand). I've also read many books on theology in that fashion.

You are not alone! *laughs* I love that quote from Macbeth (the last one). That's one Shakespeare play I've never read!


whisper said...

Thanks, Squeaks! I consider it a high compliment for my writing to be likened to your own. :)

You read Shakespeare by flashlight too?? o.0 Cool!!! Theology, however, is sadly oft' above my interest level and understanding.

I actually have not read much Shakespeare... this is only my second of his books, in fact. :) But I enjoy what I have read.

Brianna said...

I love this post. :) This one gave me some smiles and chuckles (unlike the Tribe Party post, haha, although I enjoyed that post despite the slight sadness it gave me)... especially the line about "literary geekness", the new-found insult, and the part about feeling sophisticated for making bullet points on a blog post. And I love your conclusion at the end that kept things in the Christian perspective.

I loved Macbeth too... I don't know why. I kind of liked it for different reasons than you did. I don't understand myself. I had almost a sick fascination with it... which is very uncharacteristic of me... it was just so intriguing! And dark! (I normally don't like dark things. At all. O_o) But, I also loved the fact that, as you related, my edition helped me to understand it -- and that was very, very satisfying! I enjoyed it just as much for the satisfaction of understanding SHAKESPEARE as I did for the intrigue of the story.

Yes, I 'spose I'm a fellow literature geek...

Pathfinder said...

Shakespeare = pure epicness
Macbeth = favorite

"Fair is foul, and foul is fair..."
And even better by flashlight at one in the morning.