To begin our look at Macbeth, we considered the possible influences for our choices:
Fault: we make our own decisions, exert free will, so we alone are responsible for successes or failures
Fate: timing of events/sequencing can be all it takes to set up a circumstance that leads to our downfall – could it be just coincidence or destiny that leads us to success or failure?
Influence: people that surround us has differing levels of influence on us. Those who are more persuasive can be quite impacting, so could it be less our success/failure and more someone else’s at times?
To start the play, it’s helpful to have a basic overview of what the play is about and who the players are. This summary cartoon does a great job of that. Watch up to about six minutes in. That leaves the ending/tragedies that unfold still to be discovered as we read/perform the play.
There’s also the continued conspiracy theory that Shakespeare isn’t the sole author of all he’s credited for writing. An interesting film/documentary was made looking into that possibility.
We’ll be using the Sparks Notes modern version of the Shakespeare play. It’s called the No Fear Translation of Macbeth. It’s published as a pdf, which makes reading so much easier! Download the text at the link so you’ve got it on your iPads for our reading classes.
We’re about to start studying a famous Shakespeare play called Macbeth. It’s known for being one of the bloodiest of his tragedy plays. But this isn’t a 400 year old story with no relevance to today – it has every relevance. Many of the popular shows in media in the last handful of years follow a type of formula for anti-hero protagonists in tragic circumstances.
The video examples below are evidence of the ultimate question that surrounds these types of plot lines: is it the character’s fault or fate?
Breaking Bad – Walter arrives to rescue Jesse from relapsing in his drug addiction and, while there, an event happens. Is Walter guilty of the results of the scene or was he a victim of cruel fate and poor timing?
The Path – A story of a cult-like community whose leader is away receiving the rest of the messages from God that will direct their future path. Another young leader, Cal, knows the truth, though, that the leader is in a South American hospital dying, and Cal, believing himself to be the next chosen leader, is trying to direct fate so that he’ll lead on. Confronted by someone else who knows the truth of the dying leader, and recent circumstances having literally put a broken vase in Cal’s hand, he reacts in a moment and kills another.
Without fate setting up the circumstances and timing of this event, there would have been no murder. Again, is it fault or fate?