Macbeth: An Introduction

Everyone wants a story with a happy ending,

A sweet end with music and flowers and true love,

Where the guy gets the girl,

Good triumphs over evil,

And everyone’s problems are solved.

 

Well, if you want that kind of story,

Get out. 

There’s the door, feel free to leave.

No hard feelings, bro.

But if you’re looking for a happy little fairytale,

THIS IS NOT THAT STORY.

 

I had to warn you before we got started,

I only felt it was fair.

I’m trying to lay the groundwork for this story—

This horrid, torrid, wreck of a story.

So let me give you a few warnings before you dive in.

 

Warning No. 1: You can’t trust anyone.

Look at the person on your left,

Look at the person on your right.

At least one of those people is trying to kill you—-

Maybe even both.

 

They’ll smile at you and ask after your health,

But every second they’ll be plotting the perfect way to kill you,

Wondering if they should use poison or daggers.

And when you talk to them,

They’re just counting down the seconds,

The seconds until they’ll be washing the blood off their hands.

They’ll scrub with soap until no one can see what they’ve done,

They’ll use hot water and lather the white bubbles until the red is all gone.

Then they’ll dry off their hands, 

Paint on a perfect smile,

And act like nothing ever happened.

 

That’s part of Warning No. 2: Everyone lies.

They’re all spinning fragile gossamers from wall to wall,

Thin, delicate webs only they can see.

They spin like Arachne,

But the more lies they tell,

The more they trap themselves,

Until every lie isn’t a web but a chain,

And they can’t figure out how to move without being hurt,

How to speak without contradicting themselves.

 

Warning No. 3: Being a good person in this story will not save you.

There are graves enough for both the saints and the murderers who sent them there.

Men are brave because they do not fear death,

But death seeks the brave out, punishing their defiance.

And even those who live are not whole.

Those who have won still lost,

They lost the ones they love.

The battle is lost and won, 

Quoth the witches,

Quoth those who unleashed the chaos.

 

Warning No. 4: Once you’ve started, you can’t stop.

Your head spinning like a never-ending top.

You can’t shut the book when there are pages left to read.

And once you set a foot on this path, there is no turning back,

You can try to run away from what you’ve set into motion,

But you’re just going to get lost in all the shadows and lies.

And no matter how hard you try, you can’t wipe all of the 

Dirt and the grime and the blood and debris 

From your hands and your clothes and your faces.

This is your fate, and there’s no one to blame but yourself,

Because you chose it.

 

Well, that’s all I had to say.

As you were, don’t mind me.

I just needed to give you a warning or two.

If you still feel like reading this story, 

Don’t let me stop you.

I just thought you should know what you’re getting into.

And remember:

If you’re looking for anything simple, sweet, boring, or easy,

THIS IS NOT THAT STORY.

 

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