Friday, September 5, 2014

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Title: Macbeth
Author: William Shakespeare
Read by: Folger Shakespeare Theatre

Publisher: Simon & Shuster Audio
Length: 2 CDs, approximately 2.5 hours
Source: Review Copy from Simon and Shuster Audio.  Thank-you!

Macbeth is the original Game of Thrones.  Murder, Betrayal, fantasy elements - Macbeth has it all.  I haven’t read the play since I was in Shakespeare in college so I was very pleased to be able to review this unabridged full dramatized audio production from the Folger Shakespeare Theatre curtesy of Simon and Shuster Audio.  

Macbeth is told by three mysterious woman that he will become the King of Scotland.  He tells his wife, Lady Macbeth, and she convinces him to murder the King while he is a guest at their home.  She does this convincing by basically telling him he isn’t a man unless he does it.  One murder leads to another and the Macbeths try to grasp onto the crown by eliminating any threat while slowly losing their sanity.

I loved the Scottish Music (I want the soundtrack) and sound effects.  It was wonderful having a cast of players for the play.  The only downfall is that having not read or watched the play for 14 years, I got confused on who was talking at times or where action was taking place.  Without being able to see the characters or read who was talking as well as stage directions, it was often hard to tell what was going on by pure audio alone.  That being said, I still would much rather hear Shakespeare than to read it.  When I read Shakespeare, I often read it aloud.

Macbeth is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.  It is succinct, action packed, and really toys with the question of power and corruption.  It also has wonderful quotes.  Some of my favorites are as follows:

“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” 

“Blood will have blood.”

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.”

“Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble!”

Overall, this is an excellent way to experience Shakespeare.  I enjoyed listening to it on my daily travels to work and I will definitely be looking for the Folger Shakespeare Company audios for future Shakespeare needs.

1 comment:

  1. Laura, this would be wonderful to listen to on a commute. The quotations are wonderful as well. I'm glad you enjoyed this audio by Folger Shakespeare Theatre. :-)