Macbeth Response Letter
I received your most welcomed letter. The tone of your letter, however, seems to indicate that you found William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, to be very violent. I agree. In spite of the violence though, I, too, liked the play.
The thing that I appreciate the most in Macbeth, is the way Shakespeare brings out the emotion of each of the characters. For example, the three witches that Macbeth encounters in the beginning of the play exhibit a tense emotion, and create, in a small way, a fear of the unknown for the audience. Shakespeare accomplishes this by allowing the witches to be clairvoyant, then toning down the emphasis on the supernatural.
Although Shakespeare writes lines in the play for three witches, the word “witch” is only used once in the entire play. While the three witches plot to torment a sea-captain, the first witch says, ‘Aroint thee, witch’, the rump-fed ronyon cries.” (I, iii, 5) One almost has to like the witches’ abilities to portend the future.
Lady Macbeth, however, is a pannier of emotions--sexual, ambitious, conniving, murderous, and deceitful, among others. Lady Macbeth’s emotional “roller-coaster” has even drawn Macbeth into her villainous web. Macbeth does not become ambitious or deceitful until Lady Macbeth influences him. She begins her “brain-washing” of Macbeth early in the play by telling him, “Your hand, your tongue; look like th’innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t.” (I, vi, 63-64)
You say in your letter, “There is also a lot of brutality, this being one of the bloodiest plays by Shakespeare I have ever read.” Well, I believe the brutality and the blood-letting, the war with the Thane of Cawdor notwithstanding, were attributed to Lady Macbeth’s emotional fragility.
Maria-Elena, if you thought Shakespeare’s Macbeth was brutal, wait until you read Richard III! Good night.