Sunday, December 4, 2016

Brett's Review of Macbeth

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I watched the Globe Theatre’s 2013 rendition of Macbeth.

As the play opened, I was very intrigued with the three witches. They don’t show their faces while chatting, and the lighting doesn’t make it under the hood of their cloaks, making their faces look like black, empty pits. Not only is this slightly terrifying, but it also makes it a surprise when they take off their hoods to talk to Macbeth. Suddenly, the three witches have faces to accompany their voices. The witches continued to be extremely strange as they are very physically interactive with Macbeth and each other. As they prophesy to him, they cling to his arms, legs, and torso in a somewhat frightful way. However, they are not so with Banquo, and do not come close to her. Once the witches leave Macbeth, they are also physically close with each other and cling together in a group as they exit the stage. I found this extremely interesting because I have never seen this behavior in a rendition of Macbeth, and it made the witches seem like one large creature, rather than three separate entities.

As mentioned above, Banquo is a female in this version of the play. Although she is played by a strong actress, I prefer a male actor because of the parallels between Macbeth and Banquo. With Banquo as a female, I was more prone to draw conclusions based on traits that are seen as more feminine or masculine. I was also intrigued by Banquo’s relationship with her daughter, because the mother-daughter relationship is very, very different from a father-son relationship. These gender differences also came into play with the role of Duncan, which was played by a female. Queen Duncan did not seem as strong of a character as I generally imagine, because the actress playing her looked sickly and petite compared to the other actors. Queen Duncan’s children, a male Donalbain and a female version of Malcolm, represent both mother-daughter relationships and mother-son relationships.

Another somewhat distracting addition to this play is the painting on many characters’ faces.  The interesting designs are slightly strange and look almost like ornamental makeup. Some were different colors, and maybe I don’t know the play well enough, but I couldn’t figure out if certain colors were grouped together for certain reasons, or if it was randomized.

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