Reading Log Two
Part One: Author Biography
William Shakespeare was born in April of 1564 in Stratford-on-Avon. Shakespeare had three kids, Hamnet, Susanna, and Judith, with his wife Anne Hathaway. After the birth of his children, Shakespeare was not seen again until 1592, which is when he began to emerge in the theatrical world. At the peak of his career he wrote plays such as, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth and many more. In 1611 Shakespeare retired in Stratford until his death on April 23, 1616. Part Two: Summary
Macbeth and Banquo are walking through a field when three witches appear before them. The witches prophesy to them and reveal that Macbeth will become thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland. The witches then disappear and soon after a man walks up to Macbeth and Banquo and tells them that, Macbeth is now the new thane of Cawdor, because the old thane of Cawdor was a traitor. Macbeth sends a letter, telling of the prophecies the witches predicted, to his wife, Lady Macbeth. Due to his victory and his new title, King Duncan decides to come and stay the night at Macbeth’s home. Before the arrival of the king, Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to be a man and gain the throne by killing the king. Once King Duncan has gone to his quarters to sleep Macbeth acts, and murders the king. Distraught, Macbeth returns to Lady Macbeth with bloody hands and feeling very guilty. Lady Macbeth scolds him, and after covering up what he had done, she tells him to wash his hands clean of the blood and the guilt will go with the blood. The next morning Macduff arrives and finds that King Duncan has been murdered. After Duncan’s sons flee the country in fear, Macbeth is crowned King of Scotland. Remembering the witches’ prophecy about Banquo’s decedents becoming kings, Macbeth sends men to go and kill Banquo and his son, Fleance. Banquo is murdered, but Fleance escapes the ambush. Banquo’s ghost then haunts Macbeth, causing him to seek the witches for guidance. The witches present him with three visions, the first of the visions warns Macbeth of Macduff, second they tell Macbeth that “none of woman born shall harm Macbeth,” and lastly they say Macbeth is safe until Birnam Wood moves. Lady Macbeth goes insane and dies. Meanwhile Malcom, the eldest of Duncan’s sons arrives with an army, and uses branches from Brinam Wood to disguise his advance on Macbeth’s home. Macbeth still advances into battle and encounters Macduff. Macduff then proclaims that he was “none born of a woman” but was “untimely ripped” from his mothers womb. Macduff then kills Macbeth and presents the crown to Malcom, proclaiming him King of Scotland. Part Three: Analysis
Lady Macbeth is one of the most important characters in Macbeth. She is the most responsible for beginning Macbeth’s murderous rampage by convincing him to first murder King Duncan. “Lady Macbeth remains adamant and pressures him with attacks on his manhood as well as reminders of their feelings for each other”(A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth). Lady Macbeth doesn’t get away with it because she later goes insane with guilt and kills herself.
The Supernatural are also very important in Macbeth. Most of the characters’ actions are due to the witches’ supernatural prophecies and visions. Due to the prophecy the witches give to Macbeth he then sends a letter to Lady Macbeth, which causes her to convince him to kill King Duncan. Later, Macbeth depends on the visions presented to him by the witches to protect him, but they instead lead to his downfall. Part Four: Reflection
Macbeth has a great story, which also has a good relation to the nasty human nature of greed. The story always has a good grasp on the reader’s attention and keeps the audience on their toes. The language that is use is a serious barrier but having a good translation helped tremendously. Lastly I’m also glad Macbeth got what was coming to him.
Meyer, Michael. "A Study of William Shakespeare." The Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading,Thinking,Writing. 9th ed.Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002.1519. Print. Shakespeare, William. "Macbeth." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. Meyer, Michel. “The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature.” 9th ed. N.p.: Bedford/St. Martin’s, January 2011. Print.