Saturday, May 17, 2008

An Interesting Lady Macbeth (Warning: Slight Spoiler)

Macbeth. Dir. Jeremy Freeston. Perf. Jason Connery, Helen Baxendale, and Graham McTavish. 1997. DVD. Hurricane Int'l, 2007.
The box set I mentioned also contains a version of Macbeth. In it, Lady Macbeth’s trip to the dead Duncan’s chambers to smear the grooms with the blood of the daggers is presented to us.

In the image above, Lady Macbeth is pondering the blood—she has picked up a drop, and she seems to be contemplating what she has done, looking over at the dead king’s body and showing some preliminary remorse.
Gasp! Wheeze!
The king isn’t dead after all! He’s been seriously wounded, but he reaches out to Lady Macbeth for help! Shriek!

Almost reflectively, Lady Macbeth stabs him again and again, splattering herself with blood.

It was a little too much like a horror film, but it gives Lady Macbeth additional (and, in this case, active) guilt!

Since I did my dissertation on violent female characters in the early plays of Shakespeare, violent female characters interest me. Lady Macbeth was left out of my dissertation because she committed no active violence, though she insites Macbeth to kill the king. Here, she’s in! She makes the cut!

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Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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