Macbeth

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macbeth

Macbeth


           The play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare is often believed to be cursed by many. The "Curse of Macbeth" is the misfortune that happens during the production of the play. Many theater and acting companies refuse to put on Macbeth because the play has a reputation of being cursed.
In 1604, Shakespeare tried to please King James I by casting caution and imagination aside. For the opening scene of act IV of Macbeth he reproduced a 17th century black magic ritual. Without changing an ingredient, Shakespeare gave the audience an exact replica of the spell. The people, supposedly the witches, who practiced this ritual were not happy with having the detailed exposure of it revealed. People now say that as a punishment to the play, the practitioners cast an everlasting spell on Macbeth( The Curse of Macbeth).
In this act I believe that the witches’ portrayal is very wrong. I believe that William Shakespeare made them seem very stereotypical and didn’t put any thought into it. He gave them the usual role of being ugly with long noses, and generally mean women who cast spells. By having the witches “vanish like bubbles” into the air after meeting with Macbeth in act one, scene two he gives viewers and readers the idea of a stereotypical witch. He also does this by saying that the witches have prophecies that Macbeth has to fulfill hinting at the idea that something might happen if he doesn’t. I do not think that this play glamorizes witchcraft inappropriately because there is nothing glamorous about looking and acting like the stereotypical witch.
The tragedy of Macbeth is considered to be so unlucky that is hardly ever called by its name inside the profession. People usually refer to the play as “that play,” “the unmentionable” or “the Scottish play.” It is supposed to be bad luck to quote from the play or to use any sets, costumes, or props from a production. Its reputation has been most likely acquired from the suspicion of the weird sisters and to the many disasters that have happened since its premier on August 7, 1906 (unknown).
Beginning in 1906, William Shakespeare himself played Lady Macbeth after Hal Berridge became feverish and died. This play displeased King James I so much that he banned it for five years. In 1972, the actor who was playing Macbeth substituted a real dagger for the blunted stage dagger and killed Duncan in front of the viewers of the play. One actor sleepwalked off the stage in 1948 while another one was almost strangled to death by an actor in 1926. During a performance in 1849 at New York's Astor Place, a riot broke out in which 31 people were killed because of being trampled. In 1937, Laurence Olivier played the role of Macbeth, a 25-pound stage weight crashed within an inch of him, and his sword that broke while on stage flew into the audience. It hit a man who later suffered a heart attack. In 1934, a British actor named Malcolm Keen turned mute on stage, and the actor who was supposed to  replace him, Alister Sim, developed a high fever and had to be hospitalized just like that of Hal Berridge. In the 1942 a Macbeth production headed by John Gielgud, three actors of the play died, and the costume and set designer committed suicide. Charlton Heston, in an outdoor production in Bermuda in 1953, suffered severe burns in his groin and leg area from tights that were accidently pre-soaked in kerosene. The most recent highly talked about production starring Glenda Jackson and Christopher Plummer was a nightmare for both the actors and the payroll clerk in which many things were just in regard to the cast. The production went through three directors, five Macduffs, six cast changes, two set designers, two lighting designers, 26 bouts of flu, a twisted knee, torn ligaments, and groin injuries( The Curse of Macbeth). Some of these things could just be things that happen during productions of a play but I have pretty much found out that there are too many bad things that seem to happen during the plays to be a coincidence.
As a reverse to the bad luck that

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