November 26th, 2002

Postbox Fairy

The Scottish Play

Saw Macbeth last night, with Sean Bean and Samantha Bond. Wasn't bad, but Sean Bean isn't a particularly accomplished verse speaker. Got better in the second half where he had more chance to be a somewhat tortured man of action (and topless for part of it, which might be an added attraction for some people ;-) )

Macbeth is unusual for Shakespeare, in that it often seems to work better read than staged. I think the verse is more dense than some of his other plays, and stuffed full of metaphors which are easier to understand with the chance to re-read them.

One thing I did notice, which I haven't before, was a number of references to seeds, planting etc. "If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow, and which will not" , "I have begun to plant thee, and will labor to make thee full of growing", "Upon my head they plac'd a fruitless crown" (I haven't memorised all these - got them from a searchable version of the text). You could probably argue for echoes of the Arthurian Fisher King whose sickness or impotence leads to drought, war, and infertility of his realm.
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