Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beginning MacBeth


What's a hurlyburly?

I will be teaching Macbeth, which I haven't read in years, when my classes reconvene in January.  Below are the first lines of the play--the chilling conversation among the witches that sets the scene and introduces the themes of MacBeth.  

Rereading these lines, I suddenly remembered the episode of The Cosby Show in which Theo and Cockroach try to cram for their MacBeth test by listening to the play on a record.  My students will definitely be watching this as part of their MacBeth studies.


SCENE I. A desert place. 
    Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches 

First Witch 
    When shall we three meet again 
    In thunder, lightning, or in rain? 

Second Witch 
    When the hurlyburly's done, 
    When the battle's lost and won. 

Third Witch 
    That will be ere the set of sun. 

First Witch 
    Where the place? 

Second Witch 
    Upon the heath. 

Third Witch 
    There to meet with Macbeth. 

First Witch 
    I come, Graymalkin! 

Second Witch 
    Paddock calls. 

Third Witch 
    Anon. 

ALL 
    Fair is foul, and foul is fair: 
    Hover through the fog and filthy air. 

    Exeunt 


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