Thank you to all near,
who’ve come here to the Lear,
to see, feel, and hear, in this cuadrecentenial year,
of the death of one Mr. William Shakespeare.
We have a tale to tell,
with the vision of the director as well.
Have no fear, or else have it, and still be of good cheer.
We are going to peer into the mind of madness,
and the heart of war that’s in gear.
Macbeth is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare in 1605,
and it was first performed by Shakespeare’s company in 1606.
That’s over four hundred years since the playwright was alive,
and the same since the first opening night tix.
In the beginning was the word,
and in the end it shall be too,
I’ve come from the future to be heard,
so heed my warning to you, for tis true.
The play dramatizes, with no surprises for the wisest among us, the damaging physical and psych effects, as the action directs our attention upon those who seek power for its own sake. In the wake of give and take, political ambition, lust for power turning to bloodlust, and questioning whether or not one can even trust his own mind. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. If this isn’t true, you’ve my permission to drag this aging stoop kid out back and shoot me.
Beginning in death and shame,
travelling from the cold to a moment
of destiny on this very field today.
War breeds death, produces it like
a machine. You may nay agree with what I say,
but you know what I mean.
The times have changed, but our problems the same.
The story focuses, like intensely driven locusts, on a brave soldier named Macbeth, or for the purpose of our show we are using Maxbeth to wage war.
We open, still hoping, with the wonder of thunder and lightening,
to see these three witches appear to Maxbeth and prophesy from on high that one day he will be king. That idea begins to make his ears ring and soul sing.
Consumed by ambition, zero contrition,and spurred to action by his wife Lady Maxbeth, a powerful woman in her own right, Maxbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself one night. Duncan’s sons Malcolm and Donalbain flee from the castle fearing for their lives, and Maxbeth begins the ride of following both witches and wife with sharpened steel, and a desire to thrive.
We still put heads on spikes atop castle walls,
and wave banners in the sky to stake our claim.
As I said, the times have changed, but our problems the same.
So pay attention through your eyes each a lens,
we say without apprehension, not a one pretends.
I shall prepare a verbal table for you to sit at as a guest,
If it is done, and it is done, then let it be done quickly,
The players are soothe sayers who will make you clutch your breast,
as a man at war with himself, soon becomes sickly.
With the two sons’s gone Maxbeth assumes the throne. He isn’t alone, as he has the voices to keep him company. Maxbeth growing suspicious and desperate to hold onto his power, begins to devour the world around. As if by divine right, he’ll bleed the ground, destroy any obstacle found, and go toe to toe– pound for pound.
So pick me, play me, predict me, or slay me.
This whole earth is cursed, and what’s worse,
we have the keys to the lock that’s decaying.
Memories, the water of the brain may be few,
They crawl in through the eyes and ears,
we smell their scents on the air as intense and as new,
as our deepest and darkest fears across years.
My eyes have made a fool of all the other senses,
They’ve seen the ghost already of what’s to come,
we stab at each other with intentions as intense as,
the hopes and dreams that also die in slums.
He soon becomes a tyrant, a ruler, but not of inches. As he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself, through lynches, tightening of cinches, much to the dismay of provincial statisticians.
He hires assassins to crash in and kill his dear friend Banquo. Using the forces of darkness, and the vanquished’s bank roll.
Wracked with guilt, and the ongoing actions he’s built, Maxbeth sees the ghost of Banquo haunting him at his banquet. This chills him to his core, beyond the stirring behind two holes cut in a blanket.
Fighting for pride, inciting a rioting in stride,
a lust for power, and a greed for shame,
Shake off your sleep, come look upon death itself inside,
regardless of your passed on name.
A noble man dead, a wicked man built,
we still light candles through the night,
we haven’t lost that in this nonsense on stilts,
with guilts worse than chaotic kilts
across battle in rocky fields to death’s delight.
Maxbeth raves and panics, acting simultaneously depressive and manic, and his insanity becomes apparent to all the guests of the house. Feeling less and less blessed by the nether realms, and the counsel of his own spouse.
These things without remedy nag at us,
they eat at our spirit, when we’re fighting for life, day and night,
these musical reflections of our souls back at us,
make us wonder if we’re fighting for strife, with sway and might.
How full of scorpions is my mind?
How poisoned is the water that is its well?
How left behind are the blind and the kind?
Can we ride this wave if we hit its swell?
The bloodbath of wrath and consequent relentless civil war swiftly take Maxbeth and Lady Maxbeth into the realms of madness, and death.
And still you’ll sit there still with unabated breath.
I’ve a story to tell you of thirst for power unchecked,
with a need to bleed through a crown,
It foreshadows direct a life that is wrecked,
and an upshot that is truly down.
They may say that when the brain dies, the man dies as well.
I stand before you to tell you they may still rise and speak as another
fell, floating through life in a personal hell.
Maxbeth returns to the witches demanding to know if he will remain king. But here’s the thing, they bring him to show visions of the future. But at this point, his self inflicted wounds are beyond suture.
Until the woods move he will be safe. They tell him that no man of woman born shall harm Maxbeth, and he’s tuned in enough to listen to what each says.
For such as these death may be a relief. Life may be the torture we dare not say.
For the moment we draw our first breath,
we begin that day to decay.
Those that know all our consequence,
may watch us go up in flames and laugh,
we look to those long gone and since,
for the true explanation of wrath.
This king wears thorns, that king wears blood,
this king arrives but never warns,
that king has had enough.
We are called to bed and walk in a fog to get there,
we stumble over rotting logs like wild dogs,
as though we’ve lost the sacred and come to forget care.
Applaud yourselves to the echo that would return to you.
Stand and clap, stand and rap, sit and chat,
in simple, do what you do.
One can scorch oneself on the flames of fires set ablaze,
and create all sound and fury in so doing,
the fulcrum can change in the blink of an eye, in the wink of the sun’s rays,
and learn that all new things are old,
and all old things are new things.
And finally they reveal to him that Banquo’s son Fleance, having escaped the assassins will reign as king and his sons will reign for many generations.
This vexes Maxbeth, and the text that he says will bring this very crowd meditations.
A blessing and a curse, the lesser thing which is worse,
spilled out in verse from the mouths of babes to the
knaves collecting first.
Lady Maxbeth falls into madness and confesses her sins in her sleepwalking state. As if lead by a spirit that will keep talking late, walking the night living out, giving out, her sin over and over again.
Embers on the ground, running towards the light,
our future selves chasing us until dawn,
We’ll have our just rewards tonight we tell ourselves,
but before we know it times gone.
Maxbeth continues his blood thirst by attacking Macduff’s castle and killing his wife and children. He’s unaware of the ramifications for having killed them. Macduff having fled to Malcolm recruits him and his army, attempting to avoid harm flees, and they attack Maxbeth’s castle in order to get Malcolm the rightful heir back on the throne. He might well stare at the visions in the flames flare, with the echoing voices to keep him unalone.
Life is gritty in our future city, and the wasteland lays to waste men’s souls. The emotions are raw, the sights I already saw, lend themselves to time’s toll.
Battle born–war torn–a whole nation of folks born,
amidst death and decay in a high desert setting,
betting their lives every day.
“Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland in
search of our better selves?”
still rings in my ears, like the grinding gears,
and metal spears of Max and his bids.
I will tell you what is to happen,
and yet you will still be shocked,
you will want to sit there clapping,
and feel as if your spirit is stalked.
So enough talk, time to play the play, and walk the walk.
Maxbeth presented by Merry War,
Destiny is at the door, and we answer its knock.