Mary Shandley: Macbeth, 11/3

On November 3, I went to the matinee performance of Macbeth. I had neither seen nor read the play before, so it was interesting to see it for the first time as a modern adaptation. I was particularly intrigued by the glossy masks that the witches wore. The facial expressions formed by the masks made the actors appear almost human, but slightly distant, as if they could see into other realms of life. However, a conversation with a friend made me realize the significance of the witches appearing human in the first place. The way the light hit the clear, shiny masks made the witches look as if they were fluctuating between being human and otherworldly, which draws attention to the fact that, in the story, it does not matter whether they actually have psychic powers or not. Macbeth put all of his faith in what he thought were supernatural beings who gave him “prophecies,” thereby bringing a world of pain and chaos upon himself and his kingdom. In his search for power, he dehumanizes himself by putting faith in these witches. Therefore, from my limited understanding, the ambiguity created by the masks in this adaptation is an appropriate reflection of the ambiguity of the witches’ powers.

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