This post is part of We Love Shakespeare Week.
After I graduated from high school I started taking college-level courses with my grandpa. We studied worldview science, regular science (think: Answers in Genesis), and literature. We started with really ancient texts like Sophocles and Homer and Aeschylus and then moved on from there. The textbook we were using had Macbeth as the Shakespeare text to study and, while I’d heard Grandpa quote from it before, I’d never read it.
Well, I read it. Not all at once. (I believe the textbook just included excerpts.) But eventually I did read the whole thing. I still wasn’t a huge fan (this was schoolwork, after all) but my interest was piqued. We watched the Ian McKellen version (#disturbing and #weird) and a recorded performance from the college that produced our textbook (there was some bad acting).
Even though I didn’t particularly love Macbeth yet, it was rapidly becoming the thing that Grandpa and I really shared. He loved to quote the “double, double toil and trouble” and “Is this a dagger that I see before me?” with great gusto. (In earlier days, Grandpa was in a few plays – including Taming of the Shrew – so he knew how to project his voice and really say the lines.) We had good times laughing over all that.
It was actually amazing. ❤
Then, on July 7th, 2016, I saw Macbeth performed live in Stratford. (Ontario, not England. Psych!) It was with both my grandparents (though my grandma doesn’t particularly like the play) and, oh man, it was fantastic. I fell in love with Macbeth right away. The actors were brilliant, Shakespeare’s lines lived and breathed in my ears…I can’t even. I particularly remember that Lady Macbeth looked really young and innocent, but her performance was chilling. (As it should be.) And Banquo (my favorite character in the play) suddenly appeared at the banquet – his ghost, rather – it was terrifying.
(The trailer for the show is here. There are some disturbing images.)
I came out of the show in a daze – and as a firm fan of Macbeth and Shakespeare himself. It’s still in one of my top three favorite Shakespeare plays. And it will always remind me of Grandpa. It’s a special thing we share…and I’ll never forget that.
So do you have a movie, book, or TV show that you and a friend or relative consider ‘yours’?