I have always been fascinated by Shakespeare's "Macbeth." The witches chanting. The phraseology--"When Birnum woods come to Dunsinane"--I remember thinking--OK Wills, how you going to pull that off? The name Dunsinane. The title Thane. The title Thane of Glams. Thane of Cawdor (I just keep thinking it's like their competing retail market CEO's). The idea of "no man born of woman" as a reference to a C-section. "All hail to thee, Macbeth." Every word is an announcement for a puerile riddle, full of sound and fury, signifying poetry. Shakespeare just leaps from strength to strength, as far as I'm concerned with this one.
But I have always been entranced by words--the most poetic expression I ever encountered was on Day 1 of Hebrew School: Beresheit baruch. In the Beginning.
And even later, in college, as a bookish lit major: "In the beginning was the word and the word was with G-d and the word was G-d". I didn't and I don't want to be a Christian. But it is a great beginning to a book.
I went to see Macbeth because I am fascinated by the whole play. I saw it on TV years ago. I saw a Columbo episode which dealt with it. I saw a BLACKADDER episode which dealt with it (uproariously, I should say, thou curling craven dogsbodies) I saw it as a SUNY-B theatre production via Zoom last year. And now I saw the movie with Denzel Washington last week. Terribly miscast. But the whole production was. I never once felt like I was back in Scotland the whole time. Being in Scotland makes you sing, "One misty moisty morning when cloudy was the weather I met with an old man clothed all in leather, he was clothed all in leather....." Scotland is mystical and mysterious. Scotland is full of maidens, who at the break of day, "have lost their spotted cow." Even knowing that the whole thing is show biz, I went on the "underground" tours to see ghosts. It's all acting students, perhaps some grim history, but no ghosts. And I believe in ghosts. But do ghosts believe in me? By then, I had long believed we are more interested in ghosts than they in us. But, like I said, these ghost tours are interactive theater and support university students.
Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand are great actors. But both are miscast in this production. Nothing she did so became her as her death scene. The witches were great. Not so much witches as contortionist weird sisters. Imagine advertising for the cast for witches: Must be very flexible. No spell-casting experience needed. You don't even need to own a cauldron. The best actor--Fleance (Banquo's son). Possibly MacDuff, though I suspect his part was greatly curbed.
This version had a great cursing scene, "Thou cream-faced loon." What cursing. What expression. So I have decided to adapt Shakespearean terms to curse. "Thou vile, witless carbuncle." "Thou poxy-faced pantaloon." "Thou knuckle-dragging cuckold." I spend time thinking of such antique phrases and thrusting them forth. "Thou have less wit than a pustulent wart." It doesn't have to make sense. It just has to be fun.