…okay, Makker’s workshop today at the Christelijk Lyceum in Zeist. Year 5 students, 15, 16 years, who’ve read Macbeth once with their teachers, who in turn are all motivated in the pedagogic fashion.
Theatre lovers too. Tomorrow they take their kids to see Cheek by Jowl’s version of said play in the Hague. Listen up today so tomorrow is much more fun. ‘Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow’ we didn’t mention
but ‘cribb’d, cabined and confined’ we did.
Worked on a chain of being workshop to get them all active. Transformations Ovid-like from mineral to plant to animal, skip human, to the supernatural. By that time they are groups and have performed together.
The subject which begins the play has been broached. Three witches, weird sisters what you will, appear. But beware this play is cursed. Theatre tradition has it that you must never refer to this play in a theatre by its title! Bad luck will befall the production.
The offender is sent from the room and told to turn thrice, knock, and ask to come back in.
This bit of theatre superstition is now mere anecdote, but this play manifests the supernatural. And bad things happen when blind ambition is your taskmaster.
Macbeth and his lovely wife, Lady Macbeth are the ultimate social climbers. The throne or bust. They achieve their goal and both die; made mad by their own ambition.
Malcolm is a proper Malcolm though isn’t he. He doesn’t want the throne because he’s afraid of how he’ll abuse the privilege. Sing: If I ruled the world, what a crazy place the world would be! Basically he’s too young and doesn’t want the responsibility.
Re-reading the play these lines caught my eye. Marvel at the instantaneous swing his resolution makes after Macduff batters him bout the conscience like a sausage.
Almost like Hal’s conversion, or Leonte’s descent into jealousy. Sweet resolve and damn’d be the consequences. tís done.
But for all this,
When I shall tread upon the tyrant’s head
Or wear it on my sword, yet my poor country
Shall have more vices than it had before,
More suffer, and more sundry ways, than ever,
By him that shall succeed.
What should he be?
‘t is myself I mean; in whom I know
All the particulars of vice so grafted
That, when they shall be opened, black Macbeth
Will seem as pure as snow and the poor state
Esteem him as a lamb, being compared
With my confineless harms.
Not in the legions
Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned
In evils to top Macbeth.
I grant him bloody,
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
That has a name. But there’s no bottom, none,
In my voluptuousness. Your wives, your daughters,
Your matrons and your maids, could not fill up
The cistern of my lust; and my desire
All continent impediments would o’erbear
That did oppose my will.
Better Macbeth Than such a one to reign.
Followed by melancholy response from Macduff, who doesn’t need this conversation. Not only his family is in danger but the soul of his country is about to raped by a foolish King. Then Malcolm throws out this
With this there grows
In my most ill-composed affection such
A staunchless avarice that, were I king,
I should cut off the nobles for their lands,
Desire his jewels and this other’s house,
And my more-having would be as a sauce
To make me hunger more, that I should forge
Quarrels unjust against the good and loyal,
Destroying them for wealth.
Charming one thinks and Macduff tells him not to fear, his natural graces will redeem him. but Malcolm’s ahead of him, determined to beat himself up for what he’s not.
But I have none.
The king-becoming graces,
As justice, verity, temperance, stableness,
Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
I have no relish of them, but abound
In the division of each several crime,
Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power, I should
Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell,
Uproar the universal peace, confound
All unity on earth.
Thus speaketh the young tyrant still a babe to the responsibility of a throne.
If such a one be fit to govern, speak.
I am as I have spoken.
Fit to govern!
No, not to live!
Undone by Macduff’s attack on his conscience he converts and confesses to being a young fool, untutored in the world’s subtleties
Macduff, this noble passion,
Child of integrity, hath from my soul
Wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts
To thy good truth and honour.
Things are done in Macbeth from beginning to end some 32 times.
From ‘when the hurly-burly’s done’ in Act 1
to ‘it shall be done’ in Act 5 scene 4.
Things are undone but 3 times. One less than in Merry Wives of WIndsor, a play written for a different monarch.
The best undone is this one when Macbeth hears the news that forest is actually on the move:
‘I ‘gin to be aweary of the sun, and wish the estate o’the world were undone.’
in Act 5 scene 5.
His resolve is underlined with the next lines forming the scene’s get off the stage riming couplet:
Ring the alarum bell! Blow wind, come wrack,
At least we’ll die with harness on our back.
Coz really conspiracy-wise, how do you square the argument that this play was not written for James 1st, who was crowned the year the Earl of Oxford died. A Scottish play for a King and an English play for a Queen.
Both plays written at the right time. Apparently Elizabeth had been so taken with the character of Falstaff in the Henry 4th plays, she demanded a comedy be made with him as the star vehicle.
Thus MWW was born, they say. Thus too, the farce hit the English stage.
James 1st of England was also the 6th of Scotland. He succeeded Elizabeth 1st, who we know as the virgin queen, thus no heirs apparent. James made the company Shakespeare into the King’s Men. Macbeth is traditionally dated from this point.
Backdate it as the Oxfordian’s must do: the pith of the moment is lost. A reason must be invented as to why this tribute to James was preconceived and only presented at the right time. The Occam’s razor’s answer is staring into your face screaming pick me.
Oxford didn’t write Macbeth because he was dying and the playwright who did write it carried on to write some major tragedies and problem plays; whose style also could not be predicted prior to them occurring in the years 1605-10; in the general style and practice of those other scribblers of which Shakespeare was merely one practitioner.
All would have known each other and their works. If one of them was masquerading someone else’s works as his own, to phenomenal theatrical and financial success i might add, someone else who was dead as of the playing of these plays in the public theatre and at Court
don’t ya think someone would know something and say something to someone.
Instead from the time Oxford died until his own retirement from the Theatre, the Stratfrodian like a good Hobbit preserved precious manuscripts to display at moments when the Dark Lord summoned him the time was right from beyond the grave.
Presumably not everyone was afraid of the power and influence exuded by the Earl of Oxford. Especially after his death. Who enforced his legacy? How did Oxford influence Sh after he died?
All irrelevant questions if you negate Oxford from the realm of possibility of being the writer who lived and worked in London in the top theatre companies of the day over a 25 year period.
Oxfordians have answers, but they differ like a prism as to the exact manner. Of course it’s possible if, if, if.