Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Makebai furen (Lady Macbeth)

While I was browsing the MIT Global Shakespeares website, I stumbled upon a link that seemed interesting. About an hour later, I had watched an entire play based off Macbeth,  called Lady Macbeth. This play was fascinating, firstly because of the entirely different culture in which  Macbeth  took place. The producers had placed Shakespeare's original play in ancient Taiwan, which I found reminded me strongly of the article from yesterday's class (with the woman who visited with the Tiv tribe) because of the way small changes had been made to accommodate the people's culture. Emperors replaced kings and tea replaced wine.

Another thing that grabbed my attention was that the play was being narrated by Lady Macbeth. It was cool to be able to view the play from an entirely different standpoint - especially a female perspective (since Shakespeare's original plays never focused on a female character) . I felt that the audience could sympathize with Lady Macbeth more in this play because her power-seeking nature was highlighted less than her remorse over murdering the emperor.

The final half of the play focused on Lady Macbeth's guilt, and how the emperor she killed reminded her of her own father. In the last scene of the play, where Lady Macbeth laments her fate (as well as that of the dead emperor's) she is dressed in all white - something I found peculiar. I'm not sure if white in Taiwanese culture symbolizes purity, as it does in Western culture, but it made me think that perhaps the playwrights were suggesting that her remorse had somehow "cleansed" her of all her wrongdoings.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in watching this short play as well, the link is below!

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