In Joel Coen’s ‘Macbeth,’ signs for our own times – Times-Herald

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In one of her many essays, British writer Virginia Woolf writes that Shakespeare’s fans have two different species.

Sometimes I want to do both. It takes me to the subject of this column: Joel’s Cohen’s newly released timely “Tragedy of Macbeth,” Cohen returns to his latest film-based text, in part. Conspiracy and implications for the former president of the United States and the current divided political culture of the United States.

In his 1990 book Shakespeare: An Essential Reference to His Drama, Charles Boyce (what many of us remember when we needed to read “Scottish Drama” in high school), “Macbeth” writes that it is a study of human potential because of evil and the tragic corruption of man. By the end of the play, Malcolm, the son of the murdered King Duncan of Scotland, calls Macbeth, who was killed in battle, “this dead butcher.”

Cohen is based on Shakespeare’s text and still illuminates the essence of the play with his excellent adaptation, which uses much of it in black-and-white, brilliant but dark films suitable for the subject in 1 hour and 45 minutes. You can, in the shortest of playwrights.

In every other play, Frank Kermode wrote in “Riverside Shakespeare.” The playwright describes “a country that is very cruelly occupied by the power of darkness,” and the same evil “continues to plague the great man.”

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Limited release by Cohen in December, the film is a visual feature reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman’s groundbreaking 1958 film The Seventh Seal, from the January 6 rally of the former president. It was almost a year later. The Capitol failed in an attempt to intimidate Congress to refuse the presidential election certification.

Academy Award-winning Denzel Washington’s title role, The Tragedy of Macbeth, also touches our hearts as we feel the fragility of life in our reaction to the uncertainties of modern life. An understanding of “the potential for social and emotional collapse in the absence of morality,” as Boys wrote about Shakespeare, called “riots” to overturn free and fair elections.

Written between 1603 and 1606, Cohen’s guidance explores aspects of nature and the supernatural.

First, Macbeth himself has good qualities, but due to the situation and the ferocious influence of Lady Macbeth, he becomes a desperate tyrant isolated from society and his own moral compass, eventually dying. be connected.

Then there’s the witch, or evil outside the human realm, collectively played in the film by actress and stage veteran Kathryn Hunter. Adding a dark mystery to the play, she represents the underworld and makes Macbeth act in Acts 1, 3 and “against the use of nature.” , But not. “

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Eventually, guilty of Duncan’s murder, Macbeth realized that the witch’s prophecy that one day he would become the King of Scotland was different from what they looked like. In Act 5, Scene 5, he attacks “The Fallacy of the Devil / It’s like the truth.”

In that scene, the fateful Macbeth has a dawn. As Voice writes, Witches, also known as Weird Sisters, “transform the interfering lives by disturbing the necessary elements of human society: their reliance on mutual trust.”

In Act 4, Scene 2, the Scottish aristocrat Rosse points out the overwhelming lack of trust that plagues the land, as Shakespeare writes: We are afraid / but floating in the wild and violent waters. “

Robert N of their 1991 book “The Good Society”. Bellah et al., In the chapter “We Live Through Institutions,” write that democracy, as opposed to the Macbeth world, requires some degree of trust that we often take for granted. In addition, a quote from Eli Sagan’s 1991 book Honey and Hemlock: Ancient Athens and American Democracy and Paranoia: “In a democratic society, if a citizen is defeated by an enemy in a political struggle, it For example, they will not be killed, and if they win the election, the enemy will give them peaceful power. “

Putlizter Award-winning journalist Thomas E. In his 2020 book, First Principles: What America’s Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country, Ricks writes that the way to repair current national dysfunction is to “cure people.” .. A person who politely thinks differently from you. Listen to them. Try to understand their point of view. “

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But like the misleading tragic Scottish King of medieval Shakespeare, 2022 is on track, so are we failing to put it all together?

In his 2020 book, The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life, journalist David Brooks states that our community is being restored by people with ultimate loyalty to others, not to themselves. Is written. But building a community is a slow and complex process, just like building a relationship. “

Do we have enough patience and vigilance to make sure it happens?

— Richard Bummer is a reporter staff writer

In Joel Coen’s ‘Macbeth,’ signs for our own times – Times-Herald Source link In Joel Coen’s ‘Macbeth,’ signs for our own times – Times-Herald