Reading Journal

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare

On the theory I know more of life now to appreciate them, I've decided to revisit all the Shakespeare plays I haven't read since high school.

I started with Macbeth for no particular reason.

One of Macbeth's enemies sees that Macbeth's grip on power is fairly weak.
Now does he feel
his secret murders sticking on his hands;
Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach;
Those he commands move only in command,
Nothing in love; now does he feel his title
Hang loose about him, like a giant's robe
Upon a dwarfish thief.

Macbeth realizes that having a royal title doesn't mean much without his people's love and respect.
I have liv'd long enough: my way of life
Is fall'n into the sere, the yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.

The famous "tomorrow, and tomorrow" speech, spoken by Macbeth when he hears of Lady Macbeth's death.
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.


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