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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Macbeth Is All Around Us

Macbeth is a play by William Shakespeare written between 1603 and 1607 and performed at the Globe Theatre somewhere around 1611. Shakespeare borrowed the story from a commonly found history book of England, Scotland and Ireland titled Holinshed's Chronicles. The story is similar to that of Anthony & Cleopatra. It is a tale of ambition, power, omens, fate and treachery and is considered to be Shakespeare's deepest and darkest tale. My favourite line of Shakespeare's comes from Macbeth. It is Macbeth's claim that life is 'but a a walking shadow, a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more...." 

It seems that I am not the only admirer of Macbeth. The themes of Macbeth are universal and transcend generations. Ambition, power, the wrestling with one's conscience and the ability to achieve one's goals by employing evil methods is not something new to humanity but it is certainly being presented to us in a new light through quality television. And for this reason, I wish to recommend my two favourite Macbeths on apple tv.

1. Frank Underwood from the television series 'House Of Cards'.

Underwood is played by Kevin Spacey and his methodology and the framework from which he manipulates is openly discussed by Underwood as he talks in small monologues to the screen in between making decisions to play out his strategies. It is extremely entertaining and at the same time rather frightening. Just like Macbeth, despite his dastardly acts, you often find yourself not only understanding but in many circumstances agreeing with his mode of thought. Such is the quality of the writing of this show.

2. Walter White From The Final Series Of Breaking Bad

If you haven't watched the Breaking Bad series from A - Z then you will most likely need to watch series 1-5 before attempting to watch this masterpiece of television. Ever since the 1st series I have wondered how on earth the writing team will manage to craft a plot to keep me entertained in the next series and yet they manage to weave such remarkable, almost surreal stories that are so well crafted that they seem completely logical and acceptable plots. This series will engross even those that don't like the themes or topics. Every character is unique. Every scene has a function. Every subtle nuance is carried forward and the seemingly meaningless events find themselves meaningful somewhere along the way in the plot. This is television at it's best.

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