[Book Review] Temptation, Ambition & Witches: THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Image result for macbeth book cover

Source: Penguin Random House



“Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.”





This is my first time writing a review for Shakespeare’s works. My experience with the writer is very limited as I’ve never studied any of his plays or sonnets, unless you count that one time in high school, but besides that, any reading of Shakespeare’s is for fun.

So. The plot for MAcbeth is really very basic; it’s about a man who receives a prophesy from three witches that he’s to become King of Scotland. There’s a lot of stabbing and funny insults, oh, and A LOT of nervous breakdowns happening in this particular tragedy.

This mind I sway by and the heart I bear

Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.

Macbeth Act 5, scene 3, 9-10

Conspiracy plot aside, the characters of Macbeth are amazing! Our lead, Mr. Macbeth, is – for lack of a better word – ambitious. He starts out not believing the witches’ prophesy but then when a sliver of its truth falls into his lap, Macbeth is ripping apart bodies on his way to the crown. The man flies from deep fear to sudden explosive anger.

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But let’s not forget that Macbeth probably would not have been able to pull off the murders had it not been for Lady Macbeth. Let me just say, I loved her character! Lady Macbeth doesn’t step into the spotlight at all, from what I’ve read, she stays to the sides whispering evil deeds to her husband who faithfully follows her instructions. And yet, she captures our attention almost entirely. She’s the calculative, risk taker, whose ambitions are the wings to her husbands sword. I actually loved the dynamics between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. Macbeth is not as ruthless as his wife, so whenever he seems on the verge of chickening Lady Macbeth is always there with a sharp tongue to put him in his place.

The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe topful
Of direst cruelty!

Macbeth Act 1, scene 5, 38–43

I also love the psychological and supernatural aspect of the novel. The witches seemed to have no other motive in prophesying to Macbeth than wanting to cause trouble. It just goes to show how easily tempted we humans are.

Although the language was hard for me to grasp, initially, I find that reading them aloud helped a lot. After reading the play , I also watched the movie and I’m glad to say that it proved I followed the book well. The movie helped me better imagine the novel and provided the more emotion to the story than I had initially felt while reading.

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Have you read any of Shakespeare’s plays? Do you like reading novels with villainous females?

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Disclaimer: Text dividers from Freepik. Camillea Reads uses affiliate links, which means that, at no cost to you, I receive a small commission whenever purchases are made using the links.

16 thoughts on “[Book Review] Temptation, Ambition & Witches: THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

  1. Reach says:

    Love your post. I’m not huge on Shakespeare either. I think you did a wonderful job of simplifying the play’s language for an audience that may not understand or came into contact with the work before!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. malanielovesfiction says:

    i love your review and now there are no excuses, i have to read this!!! so far my favorite shakespeare play is twlfth night, it was SO GOOD and the characters were fascinating!!! just deciphering the gender ambiguity + other themes FED my geeky joy ❤


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