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The Tale of Doom
May 06, 2003 06:22 PM 13079 Views
(Updated Jul 29, 2003 11:33 AM)



SCENE I. A desert place.

Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches

First Witch: When shall we three meet again

In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Second Witch: When the hurlyburly's done,

When the battle's lost and won.

Third Witch: That will be ere the set of sun.

First Witch: Where the place?

Second Witch: Upon the heath.

Third Witch : There to meet with Macbeth.

First Witch: I come, Graymalkin!

Second Witch: Paddock calls.

Third Witch: Anon.

ALL: Fair is foul, and foul is fair:

Hover through the fog and filthy air.

In the above excrept, three witches are waiting for the completion of a war, after which they need to meet Macbeth.

Macbeth originally written by William Shakespeare is one of his biggest tragedies ever written. Ofcourse 'Hamlet' is his biggest tragedy, but 'Macbeth has it's own place in William Shakespeare's tragic writings.

Macbeth goes deep in the psychology of brains suffering from evil thoughts, the way these evil thoughts tempt a human being to commit deeds, he could have never ever dreamt of even thinking, the path of self destruction these deeds open up for the individual and the man's struggle and failure to bypass this very path he has chosen for himself. All these factors comprise the tragic tale of Macbeth.

The books starts on the backdrop of a fierce battle between Scotland and Norway where King Duncan's (Scotland) forces have fought bravely and taken over the enemy. Here we are introduced to Macbeth and his friend Banquo.

Macbeth comes in as a man, heroic n' glorious of character. He and Banquo have played a major role in winning the battle. But little do they know that the witches are awaiting for them with a fortune in hands. On their way back to the camp they come across, they meet three witches who tell them their political posts in near future. Macbeth is told that he will be soon appointed 'The Thane Of Cawdor' and soon he will find himself 'The King'. Taking the witches' words lightly, the brave men take their own way down to the camp.

Much to their astonishment, Macbeth is announced 'The Thane Of Cawdor'. Now what seemed as a false dream strikes Macbeth as a will be reality. He tells about the witches to his wife Lady Macbeth, who cannot wait for the throne of the King. She asks Macbeth to kill King Ducan and his family when he is asleep. Macbeth denies. But when Lady Macbeth hits his male ego with abusive stones made of words, he executes the plan of the King's and his family's slaughter.

Now Macbeth is King Macbeth. He throws a lavish banquet, where Banquo & his son are invited. Then as words flow, we read Banquo and his son's murder on their way to Dunsinane, where Macbeth himself is among the four killers.

Macbeth, a king with blood stains on his crown sees Banquo's ghost at the dining table in midst of his hosted party. Does he ever live happily with this crown? Can Lady Macbeth ever sleep peacefully at nights? Or even live through her days of a Queen's life? Were the witches speaking the truth? William Shakespeare answers these questions in a tragedy called 'Macbeth'.

All through the book, Shakespeare never loses the tragic touch. Macbeth is a real story down in history, although Shakespeare has conveniently changed it for himself. But who cares as long as you are enjoying reading a drama, a work in literature that holds one spellbound by it's spell of words.

The witches appear in the most crucial parts of the story. As one reads on, the witches are still there in the background laughing mercilessly at the destiny they wrote for Macbeth. That is the touch of Shakespeare - the master of tales. Macbeth strikes with his tragic sword so hard that it cuts my ribs to open my heart to depression. But then I feel for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as much as I felt for King Duncan or Banquo.

In a way, the book is written to feel for his highness 'King Macbeth'. Feelings flow for Macbeth even after we see his dark side. Only because his character is not fully black, but grey. Whatever sins he commits, he does it for an emotion called greed. We hate him for his deeds drenched in the infuence of greed. His greed never gets fullfilled, but leaves him with another emotion called guilt.

Guilt forms a stronger enemy to him than his greed. But this mighty knight whom we saw as the hero at the opening of the book, falls for both. And we find, it's not Macbeth but even we fall for these two in our very own lives.

Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,

And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,

Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand,

No son of mine succeeding

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MacBeth - William Shakespeare