[Posted on the day of the Boston Marathon bombing]
The Tragedy of Macbeth is a psychological portrayal of two murderers, deceived by illusions, goaded by ambitions, and driven to despair. Two people, though alive, yet were long dead. Kierkegaard would characterize Macbeth as in despair wanting to be himself, because he was past the point of no return, and Lady Macbeth in despair not wanting to be herself, because she was not as hardened in slaughter and blood as her husband was.
The chilling thing is: Shakespeare’s murderers not only speak to the audience, but also speak for them.
Had I but died an hour before this chance,
I had liv’d a blessed time; for, from this instant,
There’s nothing serious in mortality.
All is but toys; renown and grace is dead;
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
Is stopp’d; the very source of it is stopp’d.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
I have supp’d full with horrors;
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts,
Cannot once start me.