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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: September ::
Re: Everyone-Looks-Bad Macbeth
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 600.  Tuesday, 28 Sept. 1993.
 
From:           Anthony Korotko Hatch <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Sep 1993 12:37:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Bernice's inquiry re Macbeth productions where "everyone
                looks bad"
 
Another work which may be of interest is Ionesco's MACBET.  Ascribing
to absurdist tradition it removes the elements of tragedy/tragic hero
and casts the characters adrift within a less structured world revealing
what one editor describes as "the senseless barbarism at the root of
Shakespeare's play."  It's a great play.
 
I also saw the film, MEN OF RESPECT, but didn't really care for it. The
film, for me, seemed only concerned with updating the language and the
setting of MACBETH.  Somehow, though, by choosing New York gangsters
(Hollywood New York Gangsters) it lacked any kind of perspective.  All
that was communicated was "hey, these guys are rotten and they kill
each other."  In the least inspired production of Shakespeare's original
the character Macbeth usually has somewhere to go, morally and socially.
In MEN OF RESPECT he starts out at the bottom of society in a completely
corrupt environment, no less, and stays there.  Perhaps a more ambiguous
setting (a political convention, a university drama department?!?)
would have provided a little tension.  (And the line-for-line "trans-
lations" into slang seemed so very obvious where nothing else was added
to the drama.)  I have to admit, though, that the film might be better
if one expects to laugh at the piece but when I first viewed the film
I felt I wasn't supposed to be laughing.
 
Anthony Korotko Hatch
boston 
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