Friday, October 09, 2009

Macbeth, Othello and King Lear Walk Into A Bar

No, seriously, that’s how the article starts:

Macbeth, Othello, and King Lear walk into a bar... what happens next? Director Sam L. Linden ’10 and his cast have worked to answer just that question. The Hyperion Shakespeare Company’s newest production, “Seven Deadly Sins of Shakespeare,” has created a user-friendly version of Shakespeare’s works in a short, action-packed montage of sins and laughs.

Doing a “sampler” of Shakespeare scenes isn’t particularly new, but the canon offers so much to choose from it’s fun to see how people put different scenes together to make a connection.  Here, the director’s going with “7 deadly sins”.

But is it off target in its interpretation, or perhaps just a little too shallow?

Whether it is the wrath of the Macbeths, Iago’s envy of Othello or Falstaff’s gluttony, each scene will present the audience with a collage of human flaws and malicious intent.

Wrath of the Macbeths?  I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve heard wrath as a defining word for that play, rather than ambition or obsession.  And is gluttony the best word for Falstaff, or just the easiest?

The Seven Deadly Sins, and yes I had to go look these up, are commonly summarized as:  Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride.

Which Shakespeare characters would you put in each role? I’m immediately tempted to associated Lear with wrath, but I recognize that that’s for his “come not between a dragon and his wrath” comment. Still, though, his temper does have something to do with his problems.  Given the choices, is Macbeth better defined by greed?

1 comment:

Bill said...

A few thoughts off the top of my head. I avoided listing Falstaff and Cloten, who between them probably cover all seven.

Lust - Edward IV
Gluttony - Sir Toby
Greed - Shylock
Sloth - Richard II
Wrath - Kate
Envy - Iago
Pride - Bottom