Saturday, November 5, 2011


I have always been struck by how timeless the words and themes of William Shakespeare are, even to the present day. Strains of the all-too familiar - love, deceit, murder, jealousy and guilt - run through every play.

My own experience of watching Macbeth it rendered it the bloodiest play I've seen of the bard's.

Friday night, I went to a high school production of Macbeth, and was once again astounded at how many phrases from Shakespeare's scripts have trickled into common usage. 'Double, double, toil and trouble',  'what's done is done' and 'screw your courage to the sticking place', are a few that I heard.

I went with my college age daughter, who is a thespian, and needed extra credit for her theater class. We had just settled into the first twenty minutes or so, about the time the show becomes quite ominous, and the stage filled with fog when Macbeth got even bloodier. "I have a bloody nose!" she whispered. I fumbled in my purse for a non-existent tissue. "Use your scarf!". I urged. Actually it was my scarf, and it was all we could find to staunch the dark red flow that we were trying to hide from the audience around us.We had chosen a seat that was far away from the exit, and a front row at that. There was no chance of going out without being completely disruptive. Finally, it stopped. We found a bottle of hand sanitizer and washed our hands multiple times.

The killing continued onstage. Macbeth and his wife were exposed as the murderers they were.

"I feel like I still have blood on my hands." My daughter whispered. When we got home, we noticed there was a spot of blood on the program. "I can't wait to hand this in to my teacher!" She said, delightedly. Four centuries later, and how relevant the bard is!

(Good thing we're not superstitious!)

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