Monday, June 12, 2017

What is this about Macbeth and his ham sandwich?

Our Shakespeare class this spring was on "Macbeth."  We read the play, an act at a time; then in class, we discuss any questions about what we've read, and the professor shares video clips of various stagings of scenes.  And then we discuss how various directors and actors interpreted the scene in different ways.  Very very interesting, which is why I keep going back.

When in class, the professor mentioned we would now be watching the ham sandwich scene, we all went - what??  Macbeth didn't make a ham sandwich!

Well, there is a version of Macbeth, starring Patrick Stewart, that is set during World War II and portrays Macbeth as a Stalin-like character.  The three witches are very creepy and quite malevolent - they not only tell the future, they make the future happen the way they want. And the scene in which Macbeth convinces the murderers to kill Banquo is set in the kitchen, with Macbeth making a ham sandwich.  He brandishes a knife, and acts as though killing his best friend is an everyday event just like making lunch.  The DVD of this version happens to be available from the public library, and I ended up watching the entire play (several times in fact).  I've never seen anything quite like it.

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