Macbeth

Fantastic adaptation of Shakespeare’s dramatic retelling of Macbeth’s tragic fall to vain ambition.

We see the subtle power of evil,

oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray us
In deepest consequence.

and are invited to meditate on the meaning of masculine manhood,

– when his wife accuses Macbeth of being a coward, for dithering in the murder of Duncan, he asks her to be quiet, saying, “Prithee, peace: / I dare do all that may become a man; / Who dares do more is none“. But she sarcastically replies, “What beast was’t, then, / That made you break this enterprise to me? / When you durst do it, then you were a man“.

– Macduff knows he must allow himself to react emotionally to his family’s death and “feel it like a man”, before he can “dispute it like a man”.

I was struck by the way Lady Macbeth’s demonic invocation
(“Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty!”
)
had been situated by the film’s director in a Christian chapel with a very distinctive shining white cross. Although perhaps one could see the setting as highlighting the incongruity and inappropriateness of Lady Macbeth’s wickedness, it seemed to be an implicit (but strong and clear) assault on supernatural Christian religion.

But on later reflection it struck me that the Bible itself is the story of how the trappings of true religion are often the context for evil, wickedness, murder and idolatry. So I shouldn’t be offended!