I went to see a production of Macbeth a while back. (A line of which this blogger takes her blog name – this isn’t a reflection that I ‘m obessed with the play. I do think it’s a masterpiece of literature, but the quote is much more about where I was at in my life when I started this thing than about the play)
It was in this really great old building that used to be a church. They converted it into a community theatre back in the 80s, put amazing stadium seating in and it made the whole place feel a little like the beautiful Orpheum Theater in Omaha (but on a much smaller scale).
What was so interesting to me was that they set the play in post-apocalyptic times. Whenever is comes up in conversation I get this strange look from people who cannot believe someone would dare to do Shakespeare in anything other than Elizabethan times. Which is crazy… the themes in his work are timeless so why bind them to a particaular time in history just because that’s when they claimed to have been
written? And why people would think that Macbeth is an odd choice to do that with obviously hasn’t read the play.
The main theme in Macbeth is how destruction occurs when power and ambition isn’t accountable to any moral absolute. Hello – what do people think it’s going to be like after the apocalypse (and before Christ’s reign, obviously)?
Power is a strange thing, isn’t it? It’s living and breathing, can take on life and take over a life. Every day we all try to exhibit power over one person or another in ways so small we might not even notice. But why do we do it? In the end, what does it really get us? Do we gain happiness? High self-esteem? Love? Riches? Or any other thing that the American culture might deem fighting tooth and nail for?
Or we simply let it take control until everything and everyone in our path is demolished and we have gone quietly insane?
Just some food for thought.
What I’m listening to: Chris Tomlin’s Live from Austin Music Hall