Friday, October 19, 2012

The Tragedy of Macbeth by Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Macbeth
Pages: 112

This was quite an amazing book. We had to read it for school in my AP English class. There were plenty of characters but the one's that were the absolute main ones were Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Macduff, Duncan, Banquo, the Witches and Malcolm.

Macbeth is the main focus of the story, and he has a very significant character change in this play. He goes from our main protagonist to the main antagonist. Lady Macbeth is Macbeth's wife (DUH) and she also has a very significant character change. Macduff is a character that oposes our main force Macbeth. Duncan is the first king in the play, Banquo is Macbeth's best friend, The Witches are obviousley witches and they give several of the characters prophecies in the play which in turn end up being what the play is revolved around. and Malcolm is Duncan's oldest son. Yes I know these character analysis' are very vague but I can't say anything about their character without revealing some of the plot. And I don't like spoiling plots.

The plot was intense and it kept me hooked the entire time. I was confused at some points and if I hadn't have been reading it with my teacher I probably would have been totally lost. I mean it is Shakespeare and Shakespeare never wanted his plays to be read in class. He wanted them to be performed.

I can't really make an accurate account of how long it took us to read this because we did read it in class but it didn't take us that long. I really wouldn't recommend anybody to read this on their own, either wait to read it in school or read it with a teacher that can explain things to you as you go.

Some things that I found very interesting is that in theater (because I am the stage manager of my school's theater program) saying the word 'Macbeth' can lead you to getting kicked outside. It's a very superstitious word. I accidentally said it without even thinking about what I was saying and my drama club teacher literaly kicked me outside and made me stand out there, spin around three times and say the worst curse I could think of. She was dead serious and wouldn't let me back in until I did it. So I did some research and found   that Macbeth is a "cursed word" When people say it it's found that bad things happen. In one play somebody actually died backstage after saying the word and it seems that when somebody says it anything that can go wrong does. I just found this interesting and figured I should add it in just so you guys can get a little background on this story. 

If you're reading this on your own and want help understanding it I'm here to help. :) Just ask. 

My Columbian Friend

Before I start, no this is not a book review. But I just want to take the time to tell you guys something incredible. A year ago (in my sophomore year) a boy named Andres transferred to my school from Columbia. He spoke absolutely NO English whatsoever. He had to walk around with an interpreter for most of his first 8 months, he's moving to South Carolina today and I'm going to miss him incredibly but I just want to tell you guys that after a year he was sitting in my AP English Literature and Composition class and honestly making a B+ that's incredible. After a year in a wierd school in a foreign country and not being able to speak any of that language, and a year later sitting in one of the top honors English classes. That's incredible. So I just want to let you all know that anything is possible. If my best friend Andres can do all that without giving up than anybody else can do something if they put their mind to it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien

The Things They Carried
Pages: 246

The main characters in this book are actually quite hard to describe because O'Brien doesn't really explain their character much. He just describes what they carry which is supposed to show us who they are as a person, and to a point it did, but not as in depth as I would have liked. 

This book is from many different perspectives and honestly I got quite confused as to who was talking when. I also was quite confused as to whether or not i could believe anything in the story because at one point he said it was all true, but then at the end he said that none of it was true. His daughter asked him if he had killed anybody and he said that he could have honestly said no. But then he could have also honestly said yes because war is all about the stories he said. So it's hard to actually believe anything that's in this book.

In the end I actually kind of liked the book because it made me think about what it would be like if I was in a war. Alltogether I was glad this book ended, but it left me with a feeling of insignificance, and that I take to many things for granted because describing some of the things that happened in war and the things they had to do I realize that I take things for granted that they didn't have.

I wouldn't get this book for anyone not in high school. I'm a junior and talking with some of my classmates, I was also no the only one who didn't understand it. The last twenty pages of the book was the best part of the book. It took me forever to read this book because it was just to much to take in at one time because there were so many things going on.