You can’t imagine how badly I wish that I could have a guitar intro for this blog. My Favourite Murder is a popular True Crime podcast that discusses a new murder every week. The two hosts, Karen and Georgia, play off each other in a way that makes it seem like you’re sitting with two friends. So here is My Favourite Murder-er, a fictional take on the podcast I love. And this week? I’m here to make a case for Macbeth.
I know, I know. A murderer in a Shakespeare play? Unheard of. And if I was really going to focus on Shakespeare murderer, then I should have gone with Titus Andronicus. That man just puts everyone else to shame. But the reason I chose Macbeth out of everyone else is because he’s a good man.
More than that, Macbeth is a noble person who wants to do good in the beginning of the play.
All it takes is a few false steps and you two could find yourself on a murderous path.
That’s not to say that I’m saying murder is easy to do. Or that we’re all steps away from murdering someone. No, that makes it too easy for people who do bad things. After all, if it’s that easy, you can blame it on factors outside yourself.
Nope. I don’t want to let you do that.
In fact, I’m not going to let you do that. You hear that murderers? I know you’re reading this. Your behaviour is never okay and it doesn’t matter how much good you’ve done. So, stop it!
Like I said in the beginning, Macbeth is a tragic figure. He was a good man. He was trusted by the king, but his own greed and weak mind betrayed him. One could argue that it’s all Lady Macbeth’s fault, but she collapses under the weight of her own guilt.
Macbeth stays the course. He could have given up at any time, but pride and toxic masculinity made it impossible for him to do so.
Still, there’s something compelling about Macbeth that I can’t put my finger on.
Maybe it really is just the people who surround him. Maybe it’s the witches who lead him on. Macbeth is a good man who was drawn to evil deeds so quickly, that it could give you whiplash. This is what happens when you crave power just so you can be powerful.
Macbeth was a good man who let himself be led astray. And we can place the blame on Lady Macbeth or on the witches.
We could absolve him of his guilt and make him a pawn of fate. It’s true that in order to cover up his first murder, the newly crowned king has to keep killing. But he keeps making the same choice. Faced with atoning for his crimes or killing someone, Macbeth keeps choosing the darker path.
Fate did not make him kill the king nor did the witches. Macbeth made all those choices on his own.
So let’s pour one out for those who get caught up in their political ambition. Macbeth is fascinating, but unworthy of being redeemed. He didn’t want power to make things better or enact change. He just wanted it. And I feel like that is a theme that’s still relevant today.
Be wary of those who covet power for the sake of prestige and influence.
Read a free preview of Macbeth below!Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Genres: Fiction, Play
Buy it on Amazon, Buy it on Indigo
In 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne, becoming James I of England. London was alive with an interest in all things Scottish, and Shakespeare turned to Scottish history for material. He found a spectacle of violence and stories of traitors advised by witches and wizards, echoing James’s belief in a connection between treason and witchcraft.
In depicting a man who murders to become king, Macbeth teases us with huge questions. Is Macbeth tempted by fate, or by his or his wife’s ambition? Why does their success turn to ashes?
Like other plays, Macbeth speaks to each generation. Its story was once seen as that of a hero who commits an evil act and pays an enormous price. Recently, it has been applied to nations that overreach themselves and to modern alienation. The line is blurred between Macbeth’s evil and his opponents’ good, and there are new attitudes toward both witchcraft and gender.