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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Macbeth makes a sandwich

Just got back from seeing Macbeth on Broadway. Spectacularly good production, and Macbeth is very clearly a Stalinist. Patrick Stewart was at least as good as I expected, and does fabulous work with props.

He decants the wine when talking to Lady Macbeth before plotting the first murder. Their relationship is very sexual but that diminishes as their thirst for blood and power takes over.

Banquo's death becomes a topic to discuss while making a sandwich; here's how he did it:

Macbeth, talking to the two murderers, takes a sandwich board out of the refrigerator.

The sandwich board has a loaf of rye, bread knife, mustard pot, dish of mayo, plate with sliced cheese, and spatulas for spreading.


I did so, and went further, which is now
Our point of second meeting. Do you find
Your patience so predominant in your nature
That you can let this go?
Slices bread once.

Are you so gospell'd
To pray for this good man and for his issue,
Whose heavy hand hath bow'd you to the grave
And beggar'd yours for ever?
Slices bread again. Dips spatula on mayo.

First murderer:

We are men, my liege.

Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men;
Speads mayo on one slice...

As hounds and greyhounds,

mongrels, spaniels,
as he...

goes along...

water-rugs and demi-wolves,
puts spreader back.

are clept
Uncovers the cheese ...

All by the name of dogs: the valued file

Distinguishes the swift,

picks up one slice...

the slow, the subtle,
puts it on the bread...

The housekeeper,
licks finger ...

the hunter, every one
picks up another slice of cheese, puts on top.

According to the gift which bounteous nature
Hath in him closed;

Spreads mayo on the other slice of bread

whereby he does receive
Particular addition. from the bill
That writes them all alike:
Puts another cheese slice on the first slice of bread

and so of men.
Now, if you have a station in the file,
Not i' the worst rank of manhood, say 't;
And I will put that business in your bosoms,
Spreads mustard on the cheese

Whose execution takes your enemy off,
Grapples you to the heart and love of us,
Places both slices of bread together

Who wear our health but sickly in his life,
Which in his death were perfect.

Slices the sandwich in half.

Walks in front of the table.

Both of you
Takes a big bite and says with his mouth full,

chews, swallows...

was your enemy.
By the time he slices the remaining half of the sandwich in half and gives each quarter to the murderers, Banquo's fate is sealed.

Later in the play, his conscience starts to catch up with him and after the intermission he can not touch his soup.

Of course the rest of the production will knock your socks off, but he had me at the sandwich.


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At 11:54 PM, Anonymous Merv Benson said...

I always thought the witches of MacBeth were the classic Democrat politicians--think Bill or Hill or even Barack. They make some statement that has a kernel of literal truth that winds up being very misleading. They tell MacBeth he will be king until Burnam woods to Dunsene come and that he will not be killed by any man of woman born and at the end we find MacDuff covering his attack by having the troops carry trees cut from Burnam woods MacBeth discovers that MacDuff "was from the womb untimely plucked." MacBeth responds "Oh those who lie like truth."


At 8:15 PM, Blogger Jeremayakovka said...

The play is so good, so damn good. That, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, Hamlet - probably my fave Shakespeares.


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