jeff (jeffhernandez) wrote,


I have a goodreads account.

I review books there.  I recently wrote a review for Macbeth, which I was sort of was forced to read (not by anyone but myself), but it turns out my fully written review on goodreads was too long.  You're only allowed 4,000 characters, and I had some thousand characters too many. 

So here I'd like to post the full story: 


"Are you going tonight or what?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Shakespeare in the park?  Macbeth starts tonight.  You said you'd go and see it."

"Dammit.  I did didn't I?  Okay, what time?"

"Meet at my place around six.  Oh, and we're going to get some wine."


I wasn't in the mood to see Shakespeare.  I was miserable.  I had just found out two tiny little nuggets of information about the world that surrounded me, two little bits of information that would fundamentally change my life forever, or at least until next month when something else came along that seemed inconceivable to me.  Still it IS "The TRAGEDY of Macbeth" and they say misery loves company (and Shakespeare in the park is no longer free.  It now costs $7, unless you know someone in the show who can get you comp tickets on opening night, which I did).  So I went. 

"Welcome to Shakespeare in the park!" said the recorded message.  I found myself sitting on a large blanket, looking up into the night sky wondering if the people in the plane flying overhead were looking back down at me and wondering if I was looking up at them. 

"Please no flash photography…" the recorded message continued.  I thought about her, and what she was doing at that exact moment.  No doubt it was something that I would not be pleased with.  Something that would once again stab at me.  Then I looked down at the bottle of wine, and I started drinking. 

The stage lights darken, and three young actors walk out onstage in modern day clothing.


FIRST WITCH: When shall we three meet again?  In thunder, lighting, or in rain?

SECOND WITCH: When the hurlyburly's done, when the battle's lost and won. 


I'm a half bottle into the night, and one minute, twenty-seven seconds into the play when King Duncan and his party walks onstage.  They are dressed in what looks to be poorly researched and poorly tailored period clothing.  "What the hell am I watching?" I think, "What are they saying?  How the hell did this happen again (that last thought wasn't about the play, that was about the other thing that was occupying my mind)?"  I took another drink.




MACBETH: Can such things be, and overcome us like a summer's cloud, without our special wonder?  You make me strange even to the disposition that I owe, when now I think you can behold such sights, and keep the natural ruby of your cheeks, when mine is blanched with fear.


"You f'ing said it Macbeth!  How can they keep their ruby cheeks?  Their cheeks are so damn ruby!  What the hell?  Seriously?  Dammit, don't they see?  Can't they see what's wrong with the f'ing picture?  Are they blind?  Are they blindy blind people who are blind?  Blind-o!  That's what you should call them!  What's wrong with the world around them?  What the Eff?  Dammit!  Piss!  Piss!  What's wrong with the world around me?  Dammit!  How can their cheeks be ruby?  Not mine.  No sir.  Macbeth and I have blanched cheeks.  We know what's going on.  We see, we see everything.  But you, you and your stupid effing ruby cheeks.  You just sit there and pretend that nothing's happening, that this is all normal and that no one sees the effing elephant in the room.  What?  What elephant.  What's an elephant?  Do you see an elephant?  YES!  I am that effing elephant!  Look at me! Look at meeee!  Ruby cheeks!"  I hadn't eaten dinner that night, and had a pretty small lunch about seven hours earlier.  I was getting pretty dunk.


MACBETH: Out, out brief candle!  Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.  It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

"Damn Right Macbeth.  All three of you hit the nail on the head!  Life is such a f'ing walking shadow.  We signify nothing.  NOTHING!  I'm gonna throw up."

I sat up from my postion on the blanket.  Drool poured down my cheek.  Everything was in beautiful blurry triplicate.  I remember nothing after that. 

That wasn't a good night for me.  I decided the next day that I should probably read Macbeth, as I missed out on all the salient details of the play the previous night.  Here's the thing: I'm sure I've read (been forced to read) or seen (been forced to see) Macbeth prior to my drunken outing… but I remember nothing from the play, and now I remember why.  It's boring. 

Here's my big issue: It's called the Tragedy of Macbeth, and he does (spoiler!) get his head chopped off, which is tragic, but he kind of did it to himself.  Is that really tragic or just plain old stupidity?  I guess it would be a less revered play if it were titled- The dumb Ass Known as Macbeth. 

Three ladies come along and say, "Hey you're gonna be king!" and Macbeth's reaction is, "Sweet!  I'm gonna get my stab on!" 

Another thing… Shakespeare can turn a phrase, there's no doubt about it… but sometimes, and I think it's because he's trying to fit everything into iambic pentameter, he tends to drone.


Read this:

MESSENGER: Gracious my lord, I should report that which I say I saw, but know not how to do't.

MACBETH: Well, say, sir.

MESSENGER: As I did stand on my watch upon the hill, I looked toward Birnam, and anon, mehtought, the wood began to move.

MACBETH: Liar and slave!

MESSENGER: Let me endure your wrath, if't be not so.  Within this three mile may you see it coming; I say a moving grove.

Now read my revisions:

MESSENGER: Dude, there's a bunch of people here to kill you.

MACBETH: No way.



Overall, I guess I enjoyed it.  I mean he did get his head chopped off (Off stage).  One thing I do remember from the play, was that it was bad.  Drunk or no, I know that to be true.  I know this because I can remember looking up to the stage from where I lay on the grass to see a horrible mock up of Macbeth's head (Macduff holds it up at the end of the play) and the audience laughed at it.  I could see all the actors (multiple times in my altered state) hearts break.  They knew that the night had gone not as they planned, much like myself.  But still, as I lay there, trying not to vomit, looking up at the pale decapitated poorly sculpted head of Macbeth I thought, "Misery does indeed love company."


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