Saturday, February 29, 2020

Review of "Macbeth: A Shakespeare Story," by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross

Review of

Macbeth: A Shakespeare Story, by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross, ISBN 9781626866904

Four out of five stars

 The tragedy of Macbeth is one where once ruthless ambition starts it feeds on itself until the perpetrators are themselves destroyed. After a very successful battle, the leader of the forces of King Duncan (Macbeth) and his best friend Banquo are returning to camp when they encounter three witches that make predictions that astound them. As a consequence of his victory, Macbeth begins thinking about his becoming king, which would of course require the death of Duncan.

 Spurred on by Lady Macbeth and with help from some nebulous spirit forces, Macbeth kills Duncan and is proclaimed king. However, the thoughts of what he did haunt him and make him uncertain and fearful. His course of action is then to have Banquo and his son murdered. In the manner of tyrants throughout history, Macbeth’s only recourse is to become even more tyrannical, leading to opposition in his kingdom and the death of both Lady Macbeth and him.

 Starting with the three witches, this Shakespearean tale features a great deal of supernatural events. This book is an excellent, modern, abbreviated version of this story, serving as a primer for young readers. Since this Shakespearean story is about a ruthless rise to the top and that has been a consistent feature of human existence, this is very much a universal and timeless tale.

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