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(09-23-2021, 06:17 PM)doc happenin Wrote: I always feel MacBeth is a younger man's role. It requires that hunger and strength of not necessarily youth, but a dash of reality and cynicism and a belief you can outlast, outrun, outfight.

This is why, again, my favorite iterations are Jon Finch and Francesca Annis from Polanski's film.

A young, ambitious, morally-questionable couple just waiting for a sort of cheat code to give them the station they feel they deserve without having to spend decades "working their way up," so to speak, and without any real consideration of the consequences. And yet still, within that, they're played with great complexity by both performers.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
But I can definitely see the older couple, waiting for years to come to power that "should" have been theirs, but fate and fortune stymied them time and again...until this moment appears. Their hunger is long and embittering. Like what will happen when Charles attempts to ascend the throne while the popular acclaim for William stands against him.
"Wilford Brimley can't be bothered to accept praise. He doesn't act because he thinks people will enjoy his work. He acts because it's his goddamned job." --Will Harris, AV Club
Hehe I think the Queen is lingering just so Charles will kick it before she does.

Premiered this morning at the NYFF, getting great reviews.

Also, Stephen Root is playing the Porter, which rules.
The Stewart Macbeth is also in quasi 1930s facist state and Stewart is wonderful in it.

(09-24-2021, 01:44 PM)atomtastic Wrote: The Stewart Macbeth is also in quasi 1930s facist state and Stewart is wonderful in it.

It's basically the opposite of the tone I want from Macbeth, but it certainly is an interpretation, I'll give it that.

Well, that's the good thing about Shakespeare, it can kinda withstand a lot of different interpretations.
(09-24-2021, 03:13 PM)atomtastic Wrote: Well, that's the good thing about Shakespeare, it can kinda withstand a lot of different interpretations.

Give me "Life's a poor player ..." over "To be or not to be ..." every fucking time.

(09-22-2021, 03:47 PM)Overlord Wrote: Does anyone agree with me that the titular character is simply a difficult role to perform in such a way that we actually feel sympathy for him?

I've been thinking a lot about this issue, and in my opinion it comes down to how much slack you're willing to cut Macbeth as a product of his society (for example, I think one of the most damning things he does is, having hemmed and hawed over murdering Duncan, he quickly and, apparently free of angst, kills the two guards he and his wife have framed). I've taught it a couple of times, and have usually emphasised that if you end up viewing him as a weak fool who stupidly blows everything up to pursue what he explicitly knows is an evil path, then that's a pretty fair read of the character.

If I were charged with defending him, I'd argue that:
  • The witches are using their supernatural insight to push his buttons - what they tell him is so specifically tailored to his particular circumstances *at that moment* that they could probably prod any sap they desired towards some sort of self-destructive end.

  • Macbeth, for all that he's a piece of crap, never stops being a very morally aware person (though this arguably makes his crimes worse, given that he's shown to be more than capable of understanding just how bad they are and how self-serving his goals are). The mental suffering he endures because of his guilt earns him at least a degree of sympathy.

  • He's getting pushed and prodded by two powerful forces - the witches and his wife. When Macbeth resists the witches' supernaturally-aided prodding of his worst instincts, his wife's there to swoop in and - via natural, psychological astuteness - attack him in exactly the way that will get him to start committing his horrible crimes. Living in a martial society, and having spent his adulthood as a great military commander, her belittling his manhood would be a fundamental, honour-breaking line of attack that we can't really relate to nowadays. 

  • Finally, he suffers terribly for his error, and his nasty, pettiness by the end of the play feels a lot more like the feeble lashing out of a deeply depressed, self-aware failure - i.e. someone who elicits a degree of pity - rather than a mad tyrant.  

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