AP Literature Brings to Life Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Selina Pi, Editor

Starting in October, just in time for Halloween, the senior students in AP and Honors Literature began to study William Shakespeare’s famed tragedy, Macbeth. Macbeth is a true historical figure who killed the king of Scotland and took the throne, but his Shakespearean version is dramatized to make him seem more violent and cruel than he probably was in real life. Filled with eerie witches and ghosts, Macbeth chills people of all ages to the bone. In the play, the protagonist is a Scottish noble whose ambition, spurred on by the prophecies of three mysterious witches, causes him to betray the people closest to him. He devolves into a cold-blooded murderer in his desire to secure the position of Scotland’s king. At first, his wife fully supports his ambitions, and the Macbeth duo becomes the ancient Bonnie and Clyde of Scotland. However, guilt and horror eventually begin to taint the conscience of both characters, and the witches’ prophecies, along with the tragic plot, fulfill themselves. Is the title character’s demise due to fate or a combination of fate and his own flaws? Students decided for themselves as they acted out the play in the Senior Lounge, mixing live action during fighting scenes and Scottish accents with Shakespeare’s lyrical blank verse. The grammatical structure and vocabulary of Shakespeare’s plays make them difficult to understand on first read, but teachers made sure to stop between scenes and hold discussions for comprehension.