Shakespeare's "Macbeth"

  • April 10, 2013 · 7:30 PM
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About This Upcoming Meetup:

1. The "Macbeth" meeting is rapidly approaching. We have 4 on the "Waiting List". This is a reminder that if anyone is signed up but can't make it, please RSVP so room can be created;

2. I will be checking with the ClockTower to see whether they can accommodate more than 12 people for this session. I will post back tomorrow evening; and

3. PLEASE: The ClockTower is giving us the room free of charge. In return, it is their expectation that we we will buy food & drinks. So... if you can, please wait and make it a night out. The food & drinks at the ClockTower are superb.

Many thanks.

I am looking forward to Alice's presentation Wednesday: the themes of fate vs. free will, morality (esp. Macbeth's struggles to assert his innate sense of right and wrong) vs. ambition; the gender role reversal in the relationship between the Macbeths; the comparison of Shakespearian/ Elizabethan tragedy with Greek tragedy.

Shakespeare like we've never seen him!

 

Robaire

Organizer

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Alex, the play ends with a regicides head on a stick, a result that would have pleased James, but perhaps discomforted Liz.

    April 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Alice, can you recommend to the group any further readings on Shakespeare as literary "agent provocateur" and his disregard for literary (and other) conventions of the time? As I mentioned to you after the talk-thank you for entertaining the comment-I am awestruck at Will's sheer guts to end a play with a Scottish royal rebel's head on a stick. I wonder how James VI stomached this, given this was the fate of his poor Mum. (Just pondering: any chance this could have actually been written in the time of Liz I, with the ending a "good on yer, M'am" declaration?)

    April 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    First meeting for me and it was extremely enjoyable! Alice covered so much with such great detail and enthusiasm and we still only managed to scratch the surface of this great work. I was fascinated by the discussion topics of "original sin" and baptism; they had never even occurred to me during my readings of the text, but they are most decidedly there. Just this merits another reading of the play! Very much looking forward to the next session.

    April 10, 2013

  • Robert ("Robaire") N.

    Alice was at her best tonight... engaging, enlightening, entertaining, and evocative. Sizzle with the steak! Great group of "Thinkers" with penetrating insights: Mark, Jo, Inga, Chris... and all.

    April 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Alice's knowledge of the subject is extensive and very informative. Too bad we had a time limitation. This could have evolved into an all nighter, especially when we touched on the Adam Eve original sin theme.

    April 10, 2013

  • alice g.

    Hi Thinkers! A moment of 'time-out'. I need you to tell me, via your responses, questions, comments - they need not be lengthy - (Thank-you Robaire for yours) how much more writing on aspects not yet touched upon it would be desireable and helpful for you to have. Shall stop here for now, but look forward to hearing from you before I continue. THNX :)

    April 8, 2013

    • Robert ("Robaire") N.

      For my part, there is more than enough in these immensely rich posts to sink our teeth into. Many thanks for framing the discussion. Evidently, I have much to learn - both about Macbeth and Shakespeare!

      April 8, 2013

    • alice g.

      We all have much to learn about the bard. And the wonderful thing is that his writing opens the doors for the reader to examine his own character. The possibilities for analysis of human behaviour created by his writing are well-nigh endless.

      April 8, 2013

  • alice g.

    William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" was the final tragedy (1606 the most commonly-accepted date) in his writing career and notably the shortest in length (as compared to, for instance, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear). But, in the words of the bard himself, "Brevity is the soul of wit";
    for the mature, seasoned bard tells the tale of the Macbeths (Macbeth and Lady Macbeth) with an intensity both mercurial and startling, leaving the reader at times breathless, at times wondering if/where/when he/she may have missed some pivotal piece of information which might elucidate the series of outcomes as they careen consistently towards disaster in the creation of the play's denoument. For by this point in his writing career, Shakespeare was re-working with greater and greater skill and art and confidence the themes which were the nucleus of his tragedies and his work overall.

    1 · April 5, 2013

    • alice g.

      The foregoing post had to be chopped AT the comma folks because of the way the site limits word count...

      April 7, 2013

    • alice g.

      Vis-a-vis Colin McGinn, one might be tempted to consider a mild re-arrangement of some of his conclusions as follows: Shakespeare has/had the curiosity of a philosopher; the judgment of a scientist; the art/craft/heart/soul of a poet. To say that "There is not a sentimental bone in his body" is hyperbole. Anyone who has studied "King Lear" (and/or watched Peter Brooke's film version of that greatest of Shakespeare's tragedies) and experienced the intense pathos of the ultimate scene of Lear holding the dead Cordelia in his arms as he delivers his final speech before laying his head upon her chest before breathing his last, cannot equivocate thusly...

      1 · April 8, 2013

  • Lorraine

    Robaire, as of what time is "our room" available for us?

    April 7, 2013

    • Robert ("Robaire") N.

      Hello Lorraine. Officially, 7:30. But they've been letting us in earlier. If you arrive early, you can always have a drink upstairs.

      April 7, 2013

  • Chris H.

    Sincere apologies again. Legal work arose in the past week that will keep me occupied round the clock for the next week. Your e-mail tipped me off that I needed to RSVP.

    April 7, 2013

  • alice g.

    In preparation for our April meet-up discussion of Shakespeare's tragedy "Macbeth", I shall launch a quotation which will be at the heart and soul of our examination of the protagonist Macbeth (and his accomplice, Lady Macbeth):
    "If a man gives up the morals that give meaning to being a human being, he forfeits the meaning and loses the being." More to ensue.....

    March 14, 2013

  • alice g.

    As our interesting Aquinas meet-up concluded last evening, in the flurry of saying good-night to one another someone (Was it you, Chris?) asked me for my recommendation on a Shakespearian authority/critic/guide, etc. There are numerous excellent inspired critics, far too many from which to choose; and so, should you wish to consult the very best, I would suggest the inimitable scholar A.C. Bradley, whose life was devoted to the scrupulous and inspired analysis and appreciation of the entirety of Shakespeare's works.

    I shall add, briefly at this time, for those zealots who have begun or are about to begin the reading of the play which we shall be discussing at our April meet-up, that the focus for the discussion (around which the myriad of other themes revolve) will be morality - specifically the morality of the protagonist's (Macbeth's) actions and, closely allied,
    that of his "partner in greatness", Lady Macbeth. Stay tuned for more on this :)

    March 14, 2013

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