Macbeth Hall of Shame: New Inductees

William Brown, Staff Writer/Editor-in-Chief

Junior English classes at Hawthorne High School recently studied the Shakespearian play “Macbeth” and then completed a class project called The Macbeth Hall of Shame. Students voted one person from each of three categories – Current Events, Fiction, and History—who showed that even in today’s world, excessive ambition leads to the downfall of a powerful person. The new inductees into the Macbeth Hall of Shame are John Edwards in Current Events, Romeo Montague in Fiction, and Adolf Hitler in History.

To begin the project, the class split up into groups of two in the Library Media Center to research their chosen nominee. The only rule was that the person’s downfall be brought about by the same tragic flaw that brought Macbeth to his fall—excessive ambition, which is the thirst for more of something such as power, money, or fame.

John Edwards, who was inducted in the Current Events category, was presented by students Rachel Kane and Jenna Graziano as the disgraced Democratic nominee for the 2008 presidential election. The students told the class how Edwards is an example of a modern-day Macbeth because he had plenty of power and money as a politician, but thirsted for more. Edwards was involved in an affair in which he cheated on his wife who was dying from cancer. He also spent $1 million in political donations to cover up his affair. The class voted for Edwards in the finals over Bernie Madoff, James Frey, Deborah Balfrey, Heidi Montag, Brandy Norwood, Pete Rose, and Barry Bonds.

Romeo Montague from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” was inducted in the Fiction category. Students Nicole Psota and Caitlin Aguirre told the class how, like Macbeth and Edwards, Montague’s flaw was excessive ambition. His selfish desire for the love of  Juliet Capulet, daughter of his enemy, led to his untimely death brought on by self-poisoning.

Adolf Hitler was inducted in the History category. Students Kelly Cucciniello and William Brown explained that Hitler was an admired World War I hero and obtained many awards to prove it, but his downfall was brought about by the excessive ambition to dominate the world and exterminate a specific group of people in World War II. Hitler defeated the only other nominee in the History category, Richard Nixon.

In the end, the class agreed that Shakespeare’s stories and plays are relevant to not only to people when he was living, but is also relevant to the world we live in in 2012.