Tag Archives: macbeth

Macbeth

I dreamed of you last night
And by the morning’s dim light
I listened to the rain
And thought of Lady Macbeth
Whose Heart
Shakespeare’s art
Made clean
In death.

The Relevance of Shakespeare

On Monday evening, I met a friend for a drink in a pub. At some point in our conversation my friend questioned the relevance of Shakespeare to school children. In essence his argument was that it was more important for children to learn to read and write than it was for young people to grapple with the Bard.

I disagreed on the grounds that an appreciation of beauty (much of Shakespear’s language is beautiful) is essential to the good/civilised society. I also contended that society would be the poorer where we to simply concentrate on reading, writing and maths. We should encourage children to look up at the stars rather than merely on cramming them full of facts Mr Gradgrind style.

The discussion with my friend caused me to Google the issue of the teaching of Shakespeare, and whilst doing so I came across this article, https://www.edweek.org/leadership/opinion-why-im-rethinking-teaching-shakespeare-in-my-english-classroom/2019/10.

Goering is reputed to have said that when he heard the word culture he reached for his revolver. On reading the above piece I reached for my metaphorical revolver in despair at those who argue that children should be exposed only to “relevant”/”modern” authors to whom they can relate. Whilst the author of the above piece does acknowledge that Shakespeare should continue to be taught, she says that this should be in order to help students to relate his work to modern society/contemporary issues. I have no problem with children finding something in Hamlet (in the character of Ophelia) that teaches/makes them think about the role of women. However the beauty of the language is what resonates with me.

Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” speech is a wonderful piece of poetry, as is Macbeth’s “tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace till the last syllable of recorded time. And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle …”. I am quoting from memory so apologies for the undoubted errors. However the fact that I (and many others) can quote large parts of Shakespeare shows his relevance to us all.

I rest my case.

I Know A Girl Called Miss Shakespeare

I know a girl called Miss Shakespeare
Who has pulled me many a beer.
The old barman, named Macbeth,
Bores us all to death.
And King Duncan is off his beer.

There Once Was A Ghost Called Banquo

There once was a ghost called Banquo
Who, having nowhere particular to go
Frightened poor Macbeth
Half to death
As all lovers of Shakespeare know.

Keats had his Nightingale

Keats had his Nightingale, which made him think of death.
I have my owl, which brings to mind Macbeth.
Tis a different name
For the same
Thing.

The morning birds sing
Replacing the owl’s cry
And I
Ponder on Keats, who is remembered still
And wonder will
My owl survive
Long after I am alive.

Scorpions Of The Mind

I find
That scorpions of the mind
Run rampant in sleep.
To keep
Them at bay
I shall away
And write.

They caper
On paper.
But the thing
Is they will
Return to sting
And bite.
At night.
Therefore To still
The thing that would kill
I must write.

“Oh, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know’st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives”.
Macbeth: Act 3, scene 2.

Can All This Water Cleanse My Thought

Can all this water
Cleanse my thought?
Is and ought.
The daughter
Of Eve
Will leave
Behind
A mind
(Mine)
Dwelling
On women and wine.
There is no telling
Where this will end.

As a boy
I took joy
In a pretend
Friend.
As an adult
The result
Is lies
And sighs.
Would that I could
Gaze with quietude
Into those eyes,
But no, I should not intrude

Stream Of Consciousness Rambling

Shall I write
To delight
My reader’s a stream of consciousness piece?
Or should I cease
My screed?
For there is no need
To take up their valuable time
With my rhyme
Which goes,
As the river flows
Down to the sea.

I am lost in the ocean
My words a mere commotion
Which (as the bard now dead
So rightly said)
Is “a tale told by an idiot signifying nothing”.

“Macbeth”, or should I say
“The Scottish Play”
Is full of words cleverly stitched together,
With witches and stormy weather
Playing their part.
The dagger in Duncan’s heart
Brought Macbeth and his wife to perdition.
Ambition
Brought him low
As those who study Shakespeare know.

Should I go
On with this rhyme
Wasting time
Forever spinning
To keep my mind off sinning,
Which, of course I never do,
For you
Are aware
I dare
Say
That I am honest as the day
Is long. In fact a plaster saint am I
And when I die
I shall to heaven go,
Or perhaps somewhere below
Where all my desire
Shall end in fire …!

Collapse

“For mine own good,
All causes shall give way. I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er”.
(Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 4).

The extraordinary and new
Does, through
The passing of the years
Engender ordinary tears.

Although normalisation may not lead to crying
Inside something is dieing,
The soul
Perhaps?
Then, at first unnoticed the whole
Edifice begins to collapse.

Masonry imperceptibly crumbles.
There may be mumbles of regret
And yet
Brick after brick tumbles.

Once a piece of the building has gone
A man may carry on
Down the same path
With a weary laugh,
Though the loss of a single brick
May his conscience prick.

Fate

Some say
In a place far away
The gods play dice
And we humans pay the price.

How easy to blame some external force,
“Matters will take their course.
We must to fate submit
And our teeth in the face of adversity grit”.

Macbeth his dagger drew
And ran king Duncan through.
It was his own shame.
No witches where to blame.

We make our own fate,
Though oft we hate
The fact however true,
It was we alone, who ran King Duncan through.