Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Curse Of Shakespeare's Play "Macbeth".

How many of you know about the "curse" of the play Macbeth written in 1604 by Shakespeare?  I've heard this one for years. It is said, "You cannot say the name Macbeth in a theatre. It will bring bad luck". The first "bad luck" came in when Shakespeare himself had to take over an actor's part because the actor fell ill and died. This was just the beginning.
The play was banned at one time by the King. In 1672 an actor by mistake used a "real" dagger on another actor. In 1849 in NYC 31 people were trampled to death. In 1934 a British actor became mute on stage. His replacement later became ill and went to the hospital. In 1937 Laurence Olivier almost had a 25 pound weight hit him by inches. Which because of the fright he felt his sword broke apart and hit an audience member who had a heart attack.
I can go on and on. Deaths, suicide, fire, robberies. It's even believed that President Lincoln once was reading passages from the play to a group of friends.
How did this curse happened? In Act IV in the original play Shakespeare wrote an actual black magic ritual for the part of the Three Witches.
It's believed "real" witches have placed a curse on the play because he made the private ritual, public.
Actors that have worked in the play have a series of superstitions. If a person says the name Macbeth in the theatre they must leave at once. They must walk around the block three times (or spin around fast in place), spit over left shoulder, and use a cuss word.  Or the other is say a quote from either "Hamlet" or "The Merchant of Venice". These are considered good luck works of Shakespeare. Mainly actors never called the play by it real name. They say instead "The Scottish Play".

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