Review: Macbeth

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Based on the Goodreads star system I “liked it”. Macbeth is another book – or playscript, more accurately – that I had to read and study extensively as part of my year 12 English course.

This Shakespearean tragedy tells the story of a tyrant king’s mad rise, rule and defeat. Being a playscript, all narration – excluding built-in notes – is in the form of dialogue, monologue and stage directions.

I found Macbeth very hard to read and understand on account of the old English. I frequently needed to break from the main text and refer to the built-in notes included in this edition. Language aside, the plot was intriguing – even very compelling. It had me involved. It played with my mind and made me wonder how differently things would have unfolded if so-and-so hadn’t said or done such-and-such.

Regarding its eternal, spiritual value, there are some important life lessons to be learned. For example, it exposes sorcery as evil (rather than glorifying it as some literature does). Furthermore, it reinforces that men and women have their roles within society, which is a big part of God’s design (not inequality of the genders, but complementary, respective roles). It demonstrates how quickly chaos arises when this design is tampered with.

All in all, I liked Macbeth, but nothing more. I would recommend it to Shakespeare enthusiasts, and to other readers of play scripts or of old English. Not belonging to any of these groups, I probably wouldn’t choose to read any more books similar to William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Share your thoughts

  • Have you read any of Shakespeare’s works? What have you learned from them?
  • Are you a lover of old English and/or playscripts?
  • Would you read Macbeth, if you haven’t already?

2 thoughts on “Review: Macbeth

  1. It’s interesting to read your thoughts on this, Jordy. 🙂 I’ve never read any of Shakespeare’s works, actually. In the past I thought I’d like to one day, just because he’s so well-known, but more recently I’ve decided I probably don’t need to.. Did you find Macbeth edifying or spiritually uplifting in any way? It must be annoying sometimes to have to read books you don’t really love for school too!

    By the way, I appreciated your previous post on What is “God’s Kingdom”? too. 🙂


    1. Interesting, Jessica. Do you know why you changed your mind about reading Shakespeare, given that you used to want to? I haven’t read other writers’ works from his time, but I wonder what makes him stand out from other writes in the world’s eye…

      For sure, Macbeth made me think – especially since it was part of my English curriculum so we *had* to analyze it. I found that it supported some biblical views (on sorcery, greed, gender roles) without taking an overtly “Christian” stance. I have no idea what Shakespeare’s belief system was. So that was neat. But I didn’t find it particularly edifying or spiritually uplifting. It touched my mind, but not my heart. That may be because it was in the context of a school assignment… or not.


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