Review of Macbeth, or: I Don’t Know Shit About Shakespeare

Reviews

So I managed to read the second book from my Penguin Book-binge. Honest to god, it took me longer to read the commentary than the actual play itself. Why the frick am I reading commentary? Well, you see…

I don’t know shit about Shakespeare.

Or what all those fancy English words are supposed to mean. I am simply not a human being that can get on such a deep level of understanding and interpretation and nitpicking, so I have to get it from someone else. It is kind of like when they ask me during yoga to ‘let go of my thoughts’ or find my inner zen or whatever – listen, people, I ain’t got shit going on inside here! There is nothing, okay!
Anyway. Back to Macbeth.

What is it about then? – spoilers I guess?

Sooo basically Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are power-hungry. Macbeth murders the king to be crowned, which so far so good, but it only triggers the medieval equivalent of a security dilemma because now he really, really needs to stay on that throne, although he does not have an heir. Shit goes down, Macbeth turns absolutely bonkers, and his wife is screaming in her sleep because, well, they murdered people. And then when the other noblemen are feeling a bit uneasy about Macbeth trying to assassinate everyone, Macbeth just decides to kill some more to keep the peace and the throne. Everyone is mad, and I’d dare say that this is one of the most violent plays that Shakespeare has written. My favourite part is, hands down, the ending [SPOILER ALERT! lol] where Macbeth has, just like several thousand poor students across the globe, wrongly interpreted some fancy poem. This wrongful assessment causes him to get an ass-whopping by no other than the great Macduff. Not only is that totally justified, since Macbeth did murder his wife and child, but I just find it so freaking metal that he has the time to declare how he was ripped from his mother’s womb. Fuck mate, you were just BORN hardcore! Then a dude named Malcolm, whose father was also murdered by Macbeth, gets on the throne and his bloodline goes apparently all the way down to the King James VI of Scotland (also named James I of England later on). How wonderful!

How did you like it?

Well, I was quite challenged since English is not my first language. Shakespeare is always hard work, and Macbeth was no exception. That is why I love the commentary, and the different takes the authors had on how the different scenes could be interpreted, and it made it SO much easier to understand what the heck they were blabbering about.

Honestly, if you are dealing with Shakespeare right now in high school or A-levels or whatever – READ THE DAMN NOTES. You will get ideas in your head that you weren’t smart enough to think into existence by yourself. This is how I passed my final English exam, where I had to analyse King Lear, that crazy buffoon.

Another aspect of Macbeth I do like is the role of Lady Macbeth. Here we have a great character with screen time. Apparently, Shakespeare had so much faith in the boys that played the female roles, that he could write some more extensive female parts. We stan a great female lead! I do think that she committed suicide though, which is a weird, feminized way of opting out, but hey, all things considered – I think any person would be thrilled for the opportunity to play the lady because she is not just some bleak background-Sue or Designated Love Interest that only has to exist. She is just as bat-shit crazy as Macbeth and, taken directly from the script, is more than prepared to smash some baby skulls. Honestly, this whole play could be translated directly to a heavy metal song. Someone, call Cannibal Corpse or whatever band that has a thing for gore.

Photo by Elaine Howlin from UNSPLASH

No-Buy August: because shopping will not make you happy

Personal

I am not going to ramble off about how humans are screwing over Mother Nature, how the older generation with more money, political influence and better options is fucking things up for us young ones (has done that for years). No, I’ll save that for the other blog. All you need to know is that I recently had enough with consumerism and endless shopping sprees after I visited New York City. It was not some sort of odd lightbulb moment, but I knew I needed to actively take a break once I returned to London. You are bombarded with options to spend your money on when you live in a big city, and I have realised that is one of the reasons why I sometimes long to go back to Scandinavia and just stay out in nowhere for a good while. Anyway!

The aim for my August this year is doing a no-spend challenge. No unnecessary purchases, no shopping, no excessive sweets or soda, no new BOOKS (horror!). Obviously you have to eat, buy your medications and all that good stuff, but otherwise you will have to find something else to spend your time on. And while, let’s be real, you can save a nice good chunk of money if you are usually a ‘meh why not’-spender, then it also gives you space to think about what else you could really spend your time on.

My situation is a little difficult since I have no kitchen access until the 19th. My current living situation does not allow for as much as freaking boiler, so I will have to buy lunch and dinner from outside at least two times a day. Two times a week I can eat with the Christians that I am living with, but otherwise I have to be smart about my food situation. I do want to save money but I also want nutritious food. It will be quite a big budget post already, so cutting out anything unnecessary is probably a good choice.

I slipped up on my first day, since I was returning to London and had simply forgotten I was doing the challenge – which resulted in purchasing some multi-use balm and two books. Great to mess up on the first day, sets a terrific mood for the rest of the month BUT I am all for accepting your fuck-ups and just carry on. Nothing good comes out of being upset by a small mistake.

I will probably make a mid-month update on how this is getting on. Let me know if you have any tips for it or perhaps are interested in participating as well!

Photo by Bart Jaillet via UNSPLASH

Personal writer rants incoming

Personal

Get a blog, they say. For branding. For committing. For maybe just finally finish that stupid fiction piece you have stuck in your head for the third year in a row. I wanted something that was more about writing, more about what I am up to as the selfish little prick I am, and then leave the serious business to the other blog. This is about writing, living, studying. My own little dumpster where I can skip the Grammarly and convince myself that this may just be what I needed.

I have shamelessly copied some of this text from my other blog because you bet I could not come up with anything more creative for a presentation.

Who the fuck are you?

My name is Julie. At the time of writing, I am 21 years old and studying BA European Politics. Do I like politicians? No. Do I want to be a politician? Also no. But this is not gonna stop me from throwing my opinions out in cyberspace. I live in some village they call London, where pedestrians have a death wish and your nostrils turn black from the smog.

Why are you doing this again?

Believe it or not, I call myself a writer. My creative mind feels more like a black hole that sucks out my energy than anything useful, but hey, at least I am trying. It gives me joy and I love storytelling, I love reading. All that shit. Also, I do have a book out there with my name on, yes a real one, but we don’t really talk about that.

What will this blog be about?

I will go full nerd. I have started reading books again, so I will probably do reviews, talk about writing stuff, and maybe, just maybe, post about stuff I do, in fact, write. I am still trying to find a suitable media to post my stuff, but we are working on it.

What’s wrong with your English?

First of all, I got tested and I can do this language shizzle. Go ask Cambridge Language Assessment yourself.
Jokes aside – English is not my first language. My native language is spoken by, like, 5 people, so I write wonky stuff or get words mixed up sometimes. Be patient, young one. It is all a part of a process with internal screaming as the prime principle.

What’s up with the name?

First of all, I got the name for the first blog at 1.30 AM when I couldn’t sleep. I thought about politics and the British House of Commons, had a good laugh to myself about ‘commons’ and ‘commoners’, and then decided to roll with it. As for this blog in particular, well, you may see a slight connection.