Monday, July 10, 2017

trochaic tetrameter with rhymed couplets

 Having fun with Shakespeare

foto supra:  Cleveland Natural History Museum, Poison exhibit 2016

Act IV scene i.  A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron. Thunder. Enter the three Witches.

Cleveland's outdoor Shakespeare troupe will be performing MacBeth.  A lot of play with this part. Even a scarce budget, and minimalist props should have a cauldron. Depending on the edition, they are the Weyward, or Weird Sisters, or Witches. That hellish stew they are cooking with fearsome children story verse is in trochaic tetrameter with rhymed couplets. The ingredient list can be done with delicious taste of ham. A combination of fear and comedy, but did we not watch "the Munsters", and "the Addams Family" in the turbulent sixties in joy?
    Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
I compare this with the old "Stone Soup" story, where three hungry Napoleonic soldiers con a village with three stones to make a huge, tasty soup. They just kept on asking for ingredients to throw into the burrowed cauldron.

There is a lot of dark humour in Shakespeare. Life under the Elizabethan police state was endangered, and people were gambling whether the Scot Stuart would better be.

Unfortunately my memory has faded, but my senior English class went to see a few plays at the four theatres of the Cleveland Play House. I do believe, "MacBeth" was one. I remember, Eric Bentley's play“Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been,, was one. It was about the HUAC witch hunt of the late forties, and into the fifties.

Getting back to Will. I hear a cable teevee series is about to start on him.

One of those clever moments is Othello. Othello is a Moor. The patron saint of Spain is James the Moorslayer. Iago is a Spanish variant of James. Before the play starts, you have to know Iago is going to do in Othello.

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