William Shakespeare
Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2012; originally published 1623, English

Perhaps no other Shakespearean drama so engulfs its readers in the ruinous journey of surrender to evil as does Macbeth. A timeless tragedy about the nature of ambition, conscience, and the human heart, the play holds a profound grip on the Western imagination.

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Jonathan Barnbrook

Yes, I know you have heard of him and this play to the point of cliché, but Shakespeare is like the Beatles: you think that they can’t possibly be any good because of the kind of person who usually says, “I like The Beatles,” and then you listen—or in this case, read—and you think, “Hey, actually they are really very good.” After years of struggling with Shakespeare, I have just started reading him properly and was helped with a version that had clear English translations next to each piece of text. If you take your time and read both, then the magic, complexity of thought, amazing understanding of human nature, romance, humor, and beautiful use of language will be revealed. I believe that if you don’t know about some of the scenarios or characters in his works then you are missing out on a whole part of English culture that references him. Macbeth is a good place to start reading Shakespeare as it is fairly short and also has a lot of dark motives—always good for holding your attention.

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