Monday, February 09, 2009


We were talking about MacBeth in American Lit today (because we were talking about Huck Finn, which naturally brought up superstitions, which naturally led to MacBeth), and I was inspired to post a bunch of semi-random stuff about the subject.

As far as the curse itself goes, I read recently that reportedly Shakespeare used real black magic incantations in the play (and it would be just like Shakespeare to have a book of them lying around), and whatever group of occultists he stole from got annoyed and put a curse on the play.

The first counter to the curse I learned about came from a play I did in middle school in downtown Madison: if you say the name, you go out behind the theatre, spin around three times, spit, and swear as loudly as possible. Later versions I've learned about add the necessity of knocking on the theatre door and asking someone to let you in. Another yet replaces the swearing with the Lord's Prayer (this being the preferred Bethany Lutheran version).

Also in that class are Romeo and Juliet, from Bethany's production of that play this past fall (in which I was the Apothec'ry). Romeo mentioned that every night backstage he said "MacBeth" just before the play started, except for one night--the one night on which there was an obvious snafu in the production. Also, I realized that before or during the recent production of the Mikado, in which my roommate and I were chorus members, he had said "MacBeth" at least once before or during each performance--and nothing major went wrong during any of them.

Juliet then remarked that we are MacBethany, and that must be the reason for such reversal. Which seemed perfectly logical to me.

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