Welcome back to my bookshelf! We’re doing another (last one for now, I swear) day of Shakespeare!
Today we have Macbeth, another book I inherited from my sister when she got her own Complete Shakespeare.
I first read Macbeth in fifth grade. My mother was trying to find things for me to read, and she knew I liked Julius Caesar. She thought it would be a good fit.
She was right. It was at this point in my life when I decided that I liked Shakespeare’s tragedies, but not his comedies, and in spite of revisiting many a play now that I’m older and smarter and more worldly, I still agree with my youthful assessment. The comedies I’ve never cared for, but I’ve yet to find a Shakespeare tragedy that doesn’t make my inner author excessively pleased.
At the core of Macbeth, with all its witches and murder and fun, is a plot to take over the throne. Something most readers/viewers are familiar with, given the world’s current obsession with Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and its corresponding television show.
I had a friend, who was reading my manuscript for The Death of a Billionaire say that she couldn’t relate to my main character because of the glitzy world the character came from, and she asked why I chose to write about that upper crust of society.
And she has a point. I write about the wealthy and super-wealthy frequently, and I think Shakespeare (well, and his ilk) is to blame. I grew up reading, and falling in love with, the classical tragic structure: man who has everything suffers unjustly and loses everything. It’s the book of Job, but without godly intervention and reward.
Who doesn’t love a good tragedy?
Hense, the Mistress of Dark Emotion, as Natalie Cannon still calls me when I make her cry with my own brand of the high brought low. It’s a story old as the ages, and yet it’s still so compelling!
And I’ve always like the image, the thought, of someone who has committed a murder not being able to feel like their hands are clean no matter how much they clean them. It’s so beautifully psychologically telling, so Poe-esque.
The stuff of nightmares, namely, the best stuff.
That’s all for my bookshelf this week! And I promise, all of Shakespeare for a VERY long time.