jump to navigation

M a c b e t h April 8, 2008

Posted by cantueso in drawing, poetry.
trackback

.

Generals Macbeth and Banquo

They were riding home from war, when three witches waited for them and greeted Macbeth as the future king.

From http://p-pcc.blogspot.com/2007/04/throne-of-blood-1957.html –  Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Versión en español → → http://cantueso.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/macbeth/

.

See Roman Polanski’s work at http://www.bfi.org.uk/features/polanski/macbeth.html
here with Jon Finch and Francesca Annis. August 2013 link dead

Macbeth talked it over with his wife and when the King visited them at their castle they murdered him  at night in his sleep.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

.

macbeth castle

Macbeth had lots of reasons to  feel insecure as a king and so he went to see the witches about his future. They sang and danced around their cauldron and oracled that he was safe unless the woods moved up against him :

Be lion-mettled, proud; and take no care
Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until
Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
Shall come against him.

Macbeth thought he was safe forever.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

.

From then on Macbeth ruled in defiance of all the laws of Scotland, but the aristocracy got ready for war. They approached his castle camouflaged …… each man carrying the branches of a tree.

And the guards told Macbeth that the woods were moving up against him.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

.

Macbeth is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy, written some 400 years ago.
The witches are called “weird sisters”.

.

Lady Macbeth seems more resolute than her husband. When he to feel insecure about their plan, she challenges him:

Act II scene 2

‘Infirm of purpose!’ she says to him: ‘Give me the daggers.’

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/fuseli-lady-macbeth-seizing-the-daggers-t00733

J H _Füssli_-_Lady_Macbeth_with_the_Daggers

But later she breaks down under the strain, because she cannot sleep anymore.

Macbeth has “murdered sleep” says Shakespeare.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

.

.

Again from Roman Polanski’s page at http://www.bfi.org.uk/features/polanski/macbeth.html  August 2013 link dead

The most famous Macbeth lines are at the end of the play :

“…………Life is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.” —

said by Macbeth in the face of death. The quote starts out with

“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day…”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


until great Birnam Wood(c) ghD

The castle photos  are one from “Atlas ilustrado de castillos y fortalezas de España”, published by Susaeta and one by ghD. The two boys crossing the olive grove are lifted off a Gary Olsen drawing.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

.

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.
Act IV scene 1, line 45
One of the witches predicts Macbeth’s imminent visit.

A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron. The witches are chanting:

Round about the cauldron go;
In the poisoned entrails throw!
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Sweltered venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot!

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble!

ghD

When you read Macbeth for the first time, you have to skip the secondary scenes to get a clear idea of the drama.

The blackboard drawings by ghD show Macbeth visiting the witches in their cave because, having trusted their oracles, he now needs their advice:

(c)ghD

.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

.

There are at least two more famous scenes from Mcbeth that are  easy to read.

Both are good examples of the clown tactics that Shakespeare uses to prevent a play from getting too somber, too sentimental:

Macbeth’s  porter talks to himself:

In the morning, when the assassination has not yet been discovered, Macbeth’s porter goes to open the castle gate and on his way to the gate he talks to himself pretending to be the  porter of Hell receiving all sorts of guests:

Macbeth hell porter

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

.

Macbeth sees the ghost of a murdered colleague

Macbeth is invited to sit down at the festive table. His  seat looks empty to you and to everyone else,  but he  sees it occupied by the ghost of a man he has just murdered.

macbeth hell porter

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

.

tn_Scotland-Glamis-Castle.

Glamis castle is in Scotland. It is where Queen Elizabeth grew up.

Glamis was one of Macbeth’s hereditary titles.

The original photo by Wyatt is  at

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

-

This is the castle of Macduff.  He is the one who finally killed Macbeth:


It is called St Andrew’s Castle North Fife.

.

The photos by Jjhake are published under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/St_Andrews_Castle_Panorama.jpg
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

.

Below is Dunsinane Hill where Macbeth would have lived nearly a thousand years ago.

There is a detailed high-level presentation of Macbeth and background stories seet http://www.pathguy.com/macbeth.htm.

.

About these ads

Comments»

1. David - April 9, 2008

This is so weird! I’m watching DVDs of a Canadian produced TV series called “Slings and Arrows”. In the second season, where I am now, they are doing Macbeth.

The “sound and fury” quote is one of my favorites, sad though it is.
————————————————————————-
To David:

The problem with filmed poetry is that the mass of visual art drowns out Shakespeare’s diction and the human faces interfere with the poet’s abstraction. That is often quite awful to contemplate, like e.g. cooked cabbage mixed with vanilla icecream.

If you like that quote, I could let you have another one of the same meaning and less obnoxious, in fact ending almost in a whisper.
.

2. krimileser - April 9, 2008

“Life is but a walking shadow
a poor player that struts
and frets his hour upon the stage
and is then heard no more”

Don’t forget the first part of the quote: A reference to Plato.

I love Macbeth and like to call it proto-crime fiction.

3. Canadian Investor Within - April 10, 2008

great post, makes me miss my high school english classes, William was always my fav part.

4. cantueso - April 10, 2008

To the Krimileser

But rather proto crime-fiction. — What would a proto-crime be? A very little crime, like stibitzen some Guezli from mummy’s kitchen cupboard or Chuchichäschtli? Or, in a more ominous sense, taking an apple from that tree against all solemn advice received from your betters?

The idea that the shadow is a reference to Plato is great, ¿ but do you believe that Shakespeare would have read Plato? I don’t think he was a patient man, and that cave analogy is particularly schwerfällig, heavy-footed. But he would have heard of it, and that would create an echo, the way the story of the apple tree in Paradise creates an echo for a billion people who would not read it. Shakespeare had strong nihilistic leanings and Plato didn’t, and so they would not mean the same by “shadow”.

5. cantueso - April 10, 2008

To the Canadian Investor

Oh, but you poor Canadian Investor, you can get all of Shakespeare for US$ 1,– (plus mailing charges) at ABE Books (but first get rid of your dollar investments).

You can also read all of them for free online. The idea is to read two or three plays from beginning to end fast to get the layout, and then to keep reading them in bits and pieces at work, in the subway, and while waiting for your stock exchange quotations. For instance, for Saturday evening I would prescribe the hell porter in Macbeth and for Sunday morning you could have Hamlet’s monologue “So oft it chances in particular men...” starting line 26; that’s at least as good for your brain as Sunday mass (would be) (because of its syntax (NOT its content).

6. Rags35 - April 10, 2008

Do you mean to say that for CONTENT the Sunday mass would be better ?
———————————————————————
To Rags35

Sorry, I did not see your one-liner yesterday. However, you would realize that content is what you make of it. And don’t forget that the Sunday, Saturday, and Friday services are weekly and Macbeth is sporadic at best. So they are not comparable.

7. krimileser - April 10, 2008

Proto crime fiction, I agree (But: Proto-Krimi).

It seems to me that Shakespeare was fairly educated. Yes, he knew Platon’s important works.

I don’t know about nihilistic leanings and Plato is more your turf than mine but his allegory of the cave is about cognition and perception, topics that Shakespeare would be interested in.

-> Here
-> are
-> some
-> links to Shakespeare and Plato.

8. cantueso - April 10, 2008

Is it the Strauss discussed in the papers that you quote the same as was presented by W. Pfaff some 5 years ago in the Herald Tribune?

??

saw that in the articles of reference even The Merchant of Venice and The Tempest were seen as political thinking. That is incredible. As they used to say at Google: “Cal, that dawg won’t hunt.”

I would see Shakespeare as a poet and a psychologist (maybe even with an aversion to politics). However, I have read only about six of his plays and only a few of these more than once. As I remember them now, each seems a character study: Othello, The Merchant, Hamlet, Coriolanus, Richard II, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet.

The Tempest is all just a poem and a fairy tale.

No, I really don’t think they are political.

9. krimileser - April 10, 2008

I linked the different articles, because they demonstrate Shakespeare’s attitude towards Plato in general. That should augment the argument that “live is but a walking shadow” refers to the allegory of the cave.

Concerning Shakespeare’s attitude toward politics. He lived during the reign Elisabeth the first and tackled political issues (kingdoms, revolutions, and so forth) so I would assume that he had a political mind.

10. Mrs Greensleeves - April 10, 2008

@ Cantueso, I have often asked myself why Macbeth was so successful as a general in war, but at home had to be encouraged by his wife to kill the king, and then, different again, as a king he uses murder routinely. What could Shakespeare have meant by this evolution?
……………………………………………………………………………..

To Mrs Greensleeves

I would not consider it an evolution. Shakespeare often portrays a warrior who rules on the battlefield and also in the Senate, but at home he takes orders from his mother or gets spellbound by a beautiful young lady.

However, you should not compare a general to a murderer. A general’s work is highly technical and theoretical, can’t be performed on impulse and is not motivated by hate or greed.

I think that Macbeth, the same as Hamlet, could not kill.

11. stella35 - July 4, 2008

With reference to the question of his education, I’d add that by the time Shakespeare was 6 years old the family had become poorer. Shakespeare may have attended the free Stratford grammar school from age 7 to 14, but he did not receive any university education and got married when he was 18.

For a time he may have worked as a teacher. He seems to have left his wife and arrived in London aged 24, and by the time he was 30 he was a fairly successful actor.

For more information you could look up the biography at http://www.bardweb.net/man.html

12. Charlie - July 27, 2008

I am going to take you up on your suggestion (I’m CanadianInvestor)

I got rid of the blog because I wasnt really into it.. various reasons

anyways I look forward to reading some William starting with what you suggested :)

13. cantueso - July 28, 2008

To Charlie:

I think that Macbeth is the best to start with; according to polls I saw recently on specialized forums it is also the highest rated among Shakespeare readers, which is surprising, because Hamlet is much more famous. It is a great play. Hamlet is messy as a construct and you might have to leave that for later.

Anyway, you will see how one gets attached to that poetry, and whereas Hamlet deals with all kinds of the unresolved problems of existence, Macbeth is stage fun with characters that could be sock puppets. Remember that at the time all actors were used to improvising (and improvising in verse!).

The witches are just great, and Lady Macbeth is great and awful, and the avalanche or steamroller progress of the play is also great. And it is easy to follow right from the beginning.
………………………………………………………………………..

I followed the link of “Charlie” and got to a blog called “Compose-Analysis”. Is that yours? I ask because it looks very different from your last blog — and less “professional”! Funny.

14. Charlie call me Chuck - July 28, 2008

Sounds very good and look forward to Macbeth.
time to update my book list :)

————————————————
Yes that is my blog, I had both blogs previously, deleted the investing one and removed all the posts from this current one I am now doing.
Before I tried to force myself to blog because I wanted to do it, now im just going to do it as it comes to me.

—————————————————-
What would you like the name in the Blogroll that links to your blog be called? I remember you mentioned something about the spelling of cantueso but since I have deleted the investing blog I have forgotten, sorry

15. cantueso - July 28, 2008

:-D !

This blog is called “Fishing”. The name is in the header (=the banner at the top of this page). I could not think of a better name especially since I like that header and the picture of the kids pushing the boat out.

“Cantueso” is my user name and is Spanish for “lavender” as a mini-quote from one of Spain’s very great writers, Cela, and because it was still free (not yet taken by anybody).

Recently I figured out that to explain to English speakers how to pronounce it, I would have to write “kantwesso” considering how you pronounce “West”.

16. tractor32 - September 23, 2009

Personally I think that Othello is Shakespeare’s greatest play because for once he didn’t need any witches or ghosts to get things going.

17. neeMcM - December 15, 2009

I don’t agree with your view that Macbeth is Shakespeare’s best play, unless, indeed, you bring in that tired old line that Hamlet isn’t good for the stage.

In other words, in the utilitarian’s view Hamlet is better than Macbeth.

However, why would a utilitarian talk about poetry ?

Just asking.

myra - November 29, 2010

tempest is best

18. skpreo - March 28, 2012

I have loved Macbeth since I was a child when I stumbled on this book in the bookshelf. I was intrigued by the plates, particularly the witches near their cauldron, Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking, “I have done the deed”, etc. Some of the verses I committed to memory have stayed with me ever since. ‘Fair is foul and foul is fair’,is one such.
I did go through the book a few times over on a timeline, when I was around 18 or twenty, and once more later. Owing to my familiarity, I would place Macbeth as the best of Shakespearean plays. However, I owe it to this author for very interesting information such as Shakespeare’s clown characters. I have often wondered how these scenes fit into an otherwise somber story-line. Also the picture of Dunsinance Hill is reminiscent of Shelly’s Ozymandias: there is just a bare hill where all the story played out in intensity!

However, I the historical Macbeth seems to be one of the best loved of ancient Scottish kings. Shakespeare installed a devious plan to malign his reputation in England at a time when the English probably wanted suzerainty over her, and the Englishmen would have been enticed by such tales. The United Kingdom was formed soon after Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s timing and selection of the plot was clever, to say the least.Has the author something to say on this line of thought. I am very curious.

The author – i searched for his name, but couldn’t find- writes very informatively and has done a lot of research. I enjoyed some of your blogs since accidentally running into it. Thanks a lot.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s