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Although my high school English teacher forced us to memorize Hamlet’s most famous soliloquies, I came to know those of Macbeth and his conniving queen through speaking their lines aloud as I returned again and again to my favorite scenes.God knows what my family thought hearing me ask the evil spirits who prey on mortal thoughts to “unsex me here” while ostensibly studying for exams.But suffused with occult mischief and murderous mayhem, Macbeth demands to be read with histrionic relish.
Runaway expectations are no doubt part of the problem.
The play generates enormous excitement in theatergoers, many of whom (if I can extrapolate from my own experience) had their teenage imaginations set ablaze by Shakespeare’s audacious genius in this work.“King Lear” may be harder to pull off because of its monstrous scale.
If an actor accidentally forgets to call Shakespeare’s malevolent masterpiece “the Scottish play,” an elaborate ritual is required to prevent all hell from breaking loose.
But a theater critic can tell you the real reason “Macbeth” is cursed.
Forty years after Peter Weir stunned the world with his tale of missing girls in the bush, the unforgettable drama remains a mystifying experience.
Here, we return to the scene of one of most important movies in Australian history.These subtle shifts are easy to overlook onstage amid all the witchery and bloodshed.Film’s ability to glide from the supernatural panorama to the eyes of the protagonist is a boon for a play in which the outer world uncannily mirrors the unconscious life of the protagonist.“Macbeth” has always struck me as Shakespeare’s most psychological tragedy.“Hamlet” may be eternally in search of a lead actor who can contain the Danish prince’s contradictory multitudes.But theatergoers have, if not an awareness of these challenges, a keen sense that a degree of boredom is built into these prodigious tragedies.There is no assured path, but an actor must somehow clarify Macbeth’s slippery interior journey.The moral makeup of the man — all that is tragically lost — is revealed through sidelong glimpses of hesitation, wavering and remorse.Shakespeare’s brutal tragedy of betrayal and bloodshed, is the perhaps most enduring fictional depiction of unchecked ambition.It has been staged and reinterpreted countless times across all corners of the globe.Yet when it comes to cinema, the reigning adaptation remains Roman Polanski’s 1971 Playboy production. Kurzel’s premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015.While the film wasn’t able to pick up the Palme d’Or, it nonetheless attracted positive word-of-mouth and a slew of enthusiastic reviews.