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Literature / The Macbeth Murder Mystery

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"But don't you see?" said the American lady. “It would spoil everything if you could figure out right away who did it.. Shakespeare was far too smart for that. I’ve read that people never have figured out 'Hamlet,' so it isn't likely Shakespeare would have made 'Macbeth' as simple as it seems."

"The Macbeth Murder Mystery" is a short story by James Thurber. An experienced consumer of detective fiction reads Macbeth for the first time, and comes to the conclusion that Macbeth can't really have killed Duncan, because the first obvious suspect always turns out to be innocent. But if it wasn't Macbeth, who was it?

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This story uses, converses, lampshades, and parodies the following tropes:


"I'll have another brandy,” and I called the waiter. When he brought it, I drank it rapidly and rose to go. "I believe," I said, "that you have got hold of something. Would you lend me that 'Macbeth'? I'd like to look it over tonight. I don't feel, somehow as if I’d ever really read it."

Alternative Title(s): Macbeth Murder Mystery

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