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I completely agree with all of the discussions posted, and I would add the death and magical element to this fact.
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According to legend, Macbeth was performed at Hampton Court in 1606 and designed to appeal to King James I. Most importantly, James himself had previously published a book on witches and how to detect them. Because of this, Shakespeare decided to give his play a supernatural twist in another effort to please the King. For the opening scene of Act IV, he reproduced a sacred black-magic ritual in which a group of witches danced about a black cauldron, shouting out strange phrases and ingredients to be thrown into it. The practitioners of rituals such as this one were not very amused by Shakespeare's public exposure of their witchcraft, and as punishment, they decided to cast their own spell on the play Macbeth that still haunts it to this day.
Supposedly, saying the name "Macbeth" inside a theater will bring bad luck to the play and anyone acting in it. The only exception is when the word is spoken as a line in the play. In order to reverse the bad luck, the person who uttered the word must exit the theater, spin around three times saying a profanity, and then ask for permission to return inside. To avoid bringing up the curse in the first place, most people refer to Macbeth as one of it's several nicknames, with "the Scottish Play" seeming to be the most popular of them. Go up to any experienced actor and ask him about the Scottish Play, and he or she will almost certainly know exactly what you are talking about.
Even if the name "Macbeth" is not said, there is still something suspicious going on. It seems like everyone who has had a part acting in the play Macbeth has some sort of strange story to tell.
During the first performance of Macbeth, William Shakespeare himself was forced to play Lady Macbeth when the boy designated to play her suddenly became overcome with sickness and died.
King James was so displeased with the play that it was banned for five years.
In Amsterdam in 1672, the actor playing Macbeth substituted the blunt stage dagger with a real one, and killed his co-actor playing Duncan right in front of the live audience.
There was even an incident in 1721. The army had to be called in because hecklers were annoying some of the actors on the stage. The actors responded by attacking the hecklers with their swords.
During its 1849 performance at New York's Astor Place, 31 people were trampled to death in a riot that had broken out.
In 1934, British actor Malcolm Keen turned mute on stage, and his replacement developed a high fever and had to be hospitalized.
In 1937, a 25 pound stage weight crashed within an inch of Laurence Olivier (who was playing Macbeth). Not only that, but his sword broke on stage flew into the audience, hitting a man who later suffered a heart attack. If you think that was enough bad luck for one production, think again. Both the director and the actress playing Lady Macduff were involved in a car accident on the way to the theater, and the proprietor of the theater died of a heart attack during the dress rehearsal.
In the 1942, three actors in another production of Macbeth died, and the costume and set designer committed suicide.
In Bermuda, 1953, Charlton Heston suffered severe burns in his groin and leg from tights that were accidentally soaked in kerosene.
In addition to all these great ideas that deal with universal appeal, don't forget that YOU are a reader and your evaluation of a text is important and valid. Whenever I ask for book recommendations from others, I certainly like to hear about their universal appeal, but I also like to hear about the reasons why a text "spoke" to a reader. So, why did you read the play? Why did you like it? What effects did the play have on you and your outlook on life? What elements of the text are valuable to you? Get personal!
I would recommend the play 'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare to other people as a thriller genre piece. Even this genre has lots of sub-categories within it which the play could spread over - for example horror, psycho-drama,mystery. The end of the play where the battle of Dunsinane plays out is quite suspense-ful and the face-off with macbeth is quite a twist in the tail when we find out that his opponent is not of woman born. The fact that a Caesarean birth is revealed is a clever twist and warfare lit fans might even enjoy the strategy ideas of battle such as camouflage etc. For me, the only theme that is not covered is love and romance - you can't really call Lady Macbeth a romantic heroine!
"Psst! Hey, buddy- Wanna read a story about the loss of one's soul?" This might be a fairly good way to introduce why individuals should read Macbeth. In all seriousness, there are many elements which make Macbeth a desirable read. The first would be the idea of articulating a condition that indicates to individuals how they should live and what path should be pursued. One of the most challenging elements behind any literature is the idea that it provides answers to the critical questions of "Who are we" and "What shall we do." Both of these questions are answered and addressed by Shakespeare's work, for in the predicament of Macbeth, there is much in relevance to our own lives and experiences. Another reason why this work can be recommended to others is that is shows the heights of human greatness as well as the valleys of human depravity. Within both depictions, the reader has little choice but to reflect on their own lives, what they would do, or what they have done, and how this can impact future decisions.
I am amazed at how unlucky this play is!
In response to #4 I disagree that love is not explored. Banquo shows immense love for his son, crying out for him to save himself. Macduff shows love for his country to such an extent that he leaves his family in somewhat of a dangerous situation. I have to say that even though murder is a huge theme is this play, so is love and loyalty!
Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's shortest plays at approximately 765 lines of dialogue, and it takes approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes to speak the entire play with all of the words left in. That is a distinct advantage that this play has.
Another advantage that the play offers is its action sequences. Though one might not understand all of the soliloquies that are presented, there is enough action to understand the important elements of the play. There are elements for all: sword fights, witches, magic, ghosts, heroes, evil villains, love, lust, and cruelty.
Those two reasons might be very persuasive for you.
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