Tag: Macbeth

Why Joel Coen Will Give Us the ‘Macbeth’ We’ve Been Waiting For

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player…”

My Shakespeare professor in college was a loud guy; he was also extraordinarily controversial. They’ve probably fired him from his third university by now, but that’s beside the point. On my first day of class with him, he warned us all that we would probably be offended at some point—he would run around the room quoting plays like Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, and Macbeth verbatim whilst taking scenes from those plays and applying them to recent news or daily experiences. Before him, Shakespeare was annoying and difficult—just early modern English nonsense.

Other teachers just focused on the plot points of William’s plays and brushed over the lyrical nuances of his words. Great art transcends time with eternal themes that strike deep through the heart of existential struggle. With subtly that is sometimes hilarious, over the top romance and gore, Shakespeare created plays that are still relevant to this day. I can only think of one pair of contemporary artists (not really) that so subtly tackle existential shit with ease: the Coen Brothers. This brings me to the news of how Joel Coen is set to direct Macbeth—courtesy of Variety.

 

Image result for macbeth

Image Via Everymantheatre.co.uk

 

Whenever I think of either of the Coen brothers, my mind wanders to their adaption of Cormac McCarthy’s novel No Country for Old Men. I feel it is appropriate to mention that film here because of its thematic ties to Macbeth. Greed is bad and it will ultimately lead to a destructive end unto itself. Macbeth chases power while the characters in No Country chase drug money—albeit for different reasons. In both tales, violence is the result of the chase. Now, I could easily draw some parallels between the character of Macbeth and Llewelyn or Lady Macbeth and Carla Jean, but instead I’m going to focus on some more OMINOUS scenes.

Early on in Macbeth, the titular character runs into three witches who throw a bunch of prophetic—mind-effing—jargon his way; unfortunate for him, ominous for us. It sets the character of Macbeth on his arc. Similarly, there’s an ominous scene early on in No Country where Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is cautioned by his wife Loretta (Tess Harper):

 

Loretta Bell: Be careful.

Ed Tom Bell: Always am.

Loretta Bell: Don’t get hurt.

Ed Tom Bell: Never do.

Loretta Bell: Don’t hurt no one.

Ed Tom Bell: [smiles] Well. If you say so.

 

Image result for no country for old men loretta bell

Image Via Mymeaningfulmovies.blogspot.com

 

I love that scene. Not just because it contains loads of macho nonsense (kind of) that makes me want to crush beer cans on my face, but also because of the subtle characterization that happens within it. The foreshadowing cements this character as someone who is about be involved with the plot but not ‘deathly’ involved. A narrator. A voice. A shadow.

The protagonist of McCarthy’s novel (more so than the film), Ed Tom Bell is the aging sheriff of Terrell County, Texas; he’s a bit of a jaded, yet hard-nosed character. Being an old-fashioned, ethical man, he finds it difficult adapting to all the violence, greed and corruption of society. He is the character the reader most identifies with… basically, he’s Shakespeare. If Shakespeare wrote himself into Macbeth, it would be as a jaded captain in Macduff’s army—as a character who sees the world as it is and is simply exhausted by it.

 

Image Via Ny Times

I’m exhausted by all the Macbeth adaptions we’ve had in the past. I’ve read the play numerous times and watched it at least a couple: the Mel Gibson version blew (or was that Hamlet?) and the Michael Fassbender one was eh. I didn’t expect to see or be excited about another adaptation anytime soon. Then I heard Joel Coen is going to try his hand at Shakespeare with the help of top tier talents like production company A24, Denzel Washington, and Francis McDormand. The long list of complex films that are (if this article is any indication) easily equatable with Shakespeare plays under his belt prove him more than capable of adapting the said source material. He must have something fresh, quirky, maybe even offensive up his sleeve—able to demolish prior stabs at Macbeth. Hopefully, he reinvigorates a new wave of WS enthusiasm. I will full-on seek it out upon its inevitable limited release. Maybe I’ll run into my unemployed professor in a darkened theater. I’ll throw popcorn at him.

 

Featured Image Via Empire Online.

Ophelia: she dead.

The Greatest Paintings Inspired by Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s work has inspired generations of authors, screenwriters, and poets. His storylines are still constantly used for modern films like She’s the Man and 10 Things I Hate About You. Even The Lion King is based on Hamlet! He contributed countless new words to the English language like ‘lovely’ and ‘bubble.’ He also inspired some of the most beautiful paintings of all time. Let’s take a look at the art inspired by arguably the greatest writer of all time. 

 

1. Ophelia by John Everett Millais, inspired by Hamlet

 

Image Via Wikipedia

Image Via Wikipedia 

 

Millais’ famous Pre-Raphaelite work depicts drowned Ophelia, bearing wreaths of flowers all with their own particular meaning–poppies symbolizing death, daisies for innocence, roses depicting love and beauty, violets for faithfulness. If you look closely, you can also see the spectre of a skull in the undergrowth on the lower right-hand side of the painting. This is one of my favorite works of art of all time.  According to The Tate website: 

 

Millais’s son John wrote that his father’s flowers were so realistic that a professor teaching botany, who was unable to take a class of students into the country, took them to see the flowers in the painting Ophelia, as they were as instructive as nature itself.

 

2. Ellen Tarry as Lady Macbeth by John Singer Sargent, inspired by Macbeth

 

Image Via Pinterest

Image Via Pinterest 

 

Singer Sargent was inspired to paint this portrait of the actress Ellen Tarry immediately after seeing her perform as Lady Macbeth in a production in the Lyceum Theatre, London in 1888. She wore a spectacular gown which was embroidered with gold and decorated with 1,000 iridescent wings from the green jewel beetle. 

 

3. The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania by Joseph Noel Paton, inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 

Image Via Owlcation

Image Via Owlcation 

 

According to National Galleries Scotland website:

 

Oberon and Titania stand reunited and are about to resolve the magically induced confusion between the two human lovers shown sleeping apart. Paton painted this as a sequel to his diploma picture of the fairy rulers’ quarrel. 

 

4. Cordelia’s Goodbye by Edward Austin Abbey, inspired by King Lear

 

Image Via CultureTrip

Image Via CultureTrip 

 

This painting depicts Cordelia being banished by her father King Lear, as a result of her refusing to flatter him. Her elder sisters, Regan and Gonoreil, watch while the King of France kisses her hand, as he admires her honesty. 

 

5. Othello and Desdemona by Daniel Maclise, inspired by Othello

 

Image Via fineartamerica

Image Via fineartamerica

 

Here we see Othello and Desdemona, with Iago lurking in the shadows. The colors are so vibrant, and the detail so fine. Thank you Shakespeare for inventing the word ‘bedazzled’ and also for inspiring this beautiful painting. At least Desdemona got to wear that fab dress before she bit the dust. 

 

Featured Image Via Wikipedia 

Shakespeare

Why You Should Thank Shakespeare for Your Favorite Spooky Creatures

In Shakespeare’s time, many were toying with the ideas of superstition and reality and exploring the stage as a place of fantasy. Because of this we can see a lot of supernatural elements appearing in Shakespeare’s plays, like witches, ghosts, and fairies. Shakespeare’s ideas of what these creatures act like have resonated with us all. They have carried to our present day interpretations of the same beings in literature, film, and even our Halloween décor.

 

Witches

 

witches

Image Via Pyro-Energen 

 

Macbeth features three witches who seem to drive the entire plot of the play. Shakespeare’s images of the witches show them as three “weird sisters” who stand around a bubbling cauldron chanting creepy things in unison, which we all know makes it even creepier. They tell prophecies of Macbeth’s future. I hope I wasn’t the only one completely frustrated with the story because Macbeth wouldn’t have ever killed Duncan if he hadn’t met the witches and none of those prophecies would have come true and just…ugh.

 

Now, what I’m interested in is that the images we get of the witches in act one resemble the main things we expect from witches today. Witches in literature and film are often depicted as sisters making potions in a creepy cauldron. Their most powerful spells are always chanted in unison just like the prophetic sisters that Shakespeare created. The cauldron, specifically, has made its way into witchy décor around the globe, including some of my own childhood Halloween costumes.

 

Fairies

 

Fairies

Image Via Strange History 

 

Before Shakespeare, fairies were seen as dark and evil creatures that were often associated with black colors, as opposed to the bright colors we see in fairies today. Shakespeare changed how we depict fairies with A Midsummer’s Night Dream into creatures that only did mischievous things as something funny as opposed to evil, and who are small, forest-dwelling creatures that are not to be feared. The presence of fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream are basically the only reason my ten-year-old self enjoyed watching the play with family as their light-hearted, mischievous behavior made a Shakespeare play something entertaining and funny to watch. I’ve learned to love you, Shakespeare, but back in the day, I couldn’t stand ya. I would now like to thank Shakespeare for his genius brain because without him would we really have Tinker Bell? I think not.

 

Ghosts

 

Ghosts

Image Via Real Life in Phuket 

 

In Hamlet, when Horatio and Barnardo are investing the ghost of King Hamlet, they explain many things that we associate with ghosts today. They describe an apparition of the fallen king who is dressed in armor from an important event in the king’s life, as you see in many shows today like Ghost Whisperer when the ghosts would always appear in a spooky outfit and then, once they’ve come to terms with their death, are instantly comfy in jeans and a tee.

 

It is also mentioned that the ghost would only appear in the dark and not in well-lit places (do I need to explain this one?) Lastly, an intense cold falls over the boys when the ghost appears. Now, either Shakespeare had a lot of experience with real life ghosts or his imagination dives into the subconscious of people today because most ghost reports today talk about that chilling cold that falls over the room (and my spine right now).

 

There you have it, folks. Shakespeare was far too good for us all. When you inevitably see tons of witches, fairies and ghosts this Halloween, be sure to thank the playwright god himself. 

 

Feature Image Via Bio and World Mysteries 

Katniss Everdeen and Piggy

Perfect Couples From Different Books

While true love is timeless, and generally knows no bounds, things get complicated when the perfect pair lives in different books. Luckily, we’re happy to play matchmaker, and point compatible characters in each other’s directions.

 

Here are some potential romances we’d love to see blossom:

 

1. Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games” and Piggy from “Lord of the Flies”

 

Katniss Everdeen and Piggy

via Playbuzz and Tumblr

 

Piggy is near and dear to any good book lover’s heart. Savagely squashed beneath a boulder, Piggy had been a symbol of unity amongst his vicious comrades. He might be under a rock, but we think crossing paths with Katniss would give him a different sort of crush.

 

via GIPHY

 

As the Mockingjay, Katniss is also a symbol of unity. Imagine discovering that commonality on Tinder. “Hey, you also represent hope to a dispossessed populace? No way!”

 

2. Don Quixote and Luna Lovegood from “Harry Potter”

 

Don Quixote and Luna Lovegood

via Stefan Mart and Harry Potter Wiki

 

These two daydreamers are known believers in the unbelievable, but the prospect of their romance would make even the most cynical soul believe in true love. If anyone can share in Don Quixote’s delusions, it would surely be Luna Lovegood.

 

Luna Lovegood wearing funny goggles

Those goggles could make any windmill look like a giant / via Pinterest

 

The age gap may be a little troublesome, but perhaps they can just imagine they’re closer in age. Remember, the power of imagination is limitless.

 

Spongebob making a rainbow with his hands.

via Nick

 

3. Marvin the Paranoid Android from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and Holden Caulfield from “The Catcher in the Rye”

 

Marvin and Holden Caulfield

via Polyvore and Erin Entrada Kelly

 

One of the most depressed, cynical lifeforms in the galaxy is Marvin the Paranoid Android. The other is a 16-year-old boy in Pennsylvania who really hates…pretty much the entire human race. Holden Caulfield might find love in a nonhuman, though. Who better to set him up with than Marvin? If ever Holden has concerns about the migration patterns of New York City ducks, then Marvin will give him the answer he most craves, but one of the best examples of this comes from the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” movie…

 

Arthur Dent: Marvin, any ideas?
Marvin: I have a million ideas. They all point to certain death.

 

4. Lady Macbeth and James Bond

 

Lady Macbeth and James Bond

via Twitter

 

There may not be a woman better suited to be a Bond girl than Lady Macbeth. If Bond was to get on her bad side, she wouldn’t hesitate to cut him down to size. She might like him better than Macbeth anyway since he doesn’t have any hang-ups with ghosts. Plus, they’re both Scottish.

 

James Bond holding a gun

“A medium dry martini, lemon peel. Shaken, not stirred–what’s that, dear? Nevermind. Just a seltzer.” / via Playbuzz

 

5. Lisbeth Salander from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and Sherlock Holmes

 

Lisbeth Salander and Sherlock Holmes

via Los Angeles Time and Epic Reads

 

Sherlock Holmes likes tricky women like Irene Adler, and Lisbeth Salander likes troubled sleuths like Mikail Blomkvist. Salander’s expert hacking is a tricky prospect indeed, but Holmes is no stranger to possibly unsavory behavior (like being addicted to cocaine). Plus, if this romance is adapted by Hollywood, it would unite Benedict Cumberbatch and Rooney Mara…finally.

 

via GIPHY

 

6. Tigger from “The House at Pooh Corner” and Shere Khan from “Jungle Book”

 

Tigger and Shere Khan

via Disney

 

There are so many wonderful things about Tiggers that there’s a whole song about it.

 

 

But does Shere Khan deserve him? Sure, he’s a murderous bully, but every ferocious feline has got a cute house cat beneath the surface. He just needs a bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy tiger life partner to bring out his sensitive side.

 

Now let’s hear from you. What characters from different books do you want to see get together?

 

Featured image courtesy of The Mary Sue and Tumblr

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Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Plot Their Takeover in New Trailer

A new trailer has been released for the film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and it hints at a sprawling and action-packed film. Check it out below!

The new trailer is every bit as foreboding and atmospheric as the first teaser trailer was, but we get a bit more noise and action this time around. The movie looks gritty and epic, with a mix of intimate shots that recall the stage and massive sequences that remind us that this is a blockbuster production. 

The film is already generating critical acclaim in advance of its full release, thanks to its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Critics have praised the performances of Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in the lead roles. Fassbender, an Oscar nominee, plays General Macbeth; Cotillard, an Oscar winner, takes on the role of the infamous Lady Macbeth. The film, which preserves Shakespeare’s original words, currently has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film comes out on October 2 in the United Kingdom, but American viewers will have to wait for the U.S. release on December 4 of this year.

Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/1idEQw7