Upon the Scottish moor, three witches are stirring up trouble. Macbeth and Banquo, two Scottish nobles are on their way home from a victorious battle which has suppressed a rebellion against the king. As the two parties meet, the witches hail Macbeth as King of Scotland and tell Banquo that his children will be king. Hearing this, Banquo is pleased, but Macbeth begins to plot. When Macbeth tells his wife what has transpired, she encourages him to kill the king. If the witches have predicted his kinghood, then it must all be fated to turn out well, right? Of course, murder is never simple and guilt often rears its ugly head. While suspicion falls on the king’s sons for a while, it soon becomes clear that Macbeth is to blame.
I have reviewed other Campfire Classics and liked them. They are generally a good introduction to and good synopsis of the original. They also all have a couple pages of extras in the back – here explaining about the history and mythology of the play. For example, why actors consider it bad luck to say the name of the play, instead calling it “The Scottish Play.”
On the other hand, I find the use of real language in this version, instead of Shakespeare’s words, to drain the play of all flavor. The novel feels like a dry recitation of events, even with the illustration to add visual impact. The art is flat and uninspired, if adequate. It does its job of illustrating, but nothing more. And while the novel does throw in the occasional quote from the play, if you haven’t read the play you would not know those are Shakespeare’s actual words. If anything, they are out of synch with the rest of the text.
A good introduction to Macbeth, especially for lower level older readers.