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    "Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

The Curse of Macbeth

They call it The Scottish Play because uttering its true name could bring on the curse associated with it. They story began when William Shakespeare wanted to be on King James I good side. He wrote a play called Macbeth and was inspired by actual people for the roles of the three witches. It is believed he used real incantations stolen from an authentic black-magic ritual. King James wasn't pleased with the performance even though Will himself played the part of Lady Macbeth after Hal Berridge fell ill and died in 1606. The practitioners weren't amused either.They cast an everlasting spell on the play. It is now believed that if you speak the word "Macbeth" in a theater the production will be plagued with a case of deadly bad luck.

Since then, many have fell victim to the evil spell.

  • A performance in Amsterdam in 1672 ended abruptly when the actor playing Macbeth substituted a real dagger for the blunted stage one, killing Duncan in full view of the entranced audience.
  • In 1937, Laurence Olivier took on the role of Macbeth and a 25 pound stage weight crashed within an inch of him, his sword broke onstage and flew into the audience, hitting a man who later suffered a heart attack. In addition, the director and the actress playing Lady Macduff were involved in a car accident on the way to the theatre, and the proprietor of the theatre died of a heart attack during the dress rehearsal.
  • In the 1942 Macbeth production headed by John Gielgud, three actors died, and the costume and set designer committed suicide amidst his devilish Macbeth creations.
  • Charlton Heston suffered severe burns in his groin and leg area from tights that were accidentally soaked in kerosene in an outdoor production in Bermuda in 1953.
  • In 1998, in the Off-Broadway production starring Alec Baldwin and Angela Bassett, Baldwin somehow sliced open the hand of his Macduff.
It can be difficult refraining yourself from speaking one particular word. So, what do you do if you make such a mistake? There are several rituals you can perform to dispel the curse. The most familiar one consists of the person who said the offensive word to leave the theater, turn around three times, spit over each shoulder, knock on the door of the building and ask permission to re-enter. Another method is simply mumbling the phrase "Thrice around the circle bound, Evil Sink into the ground" or yell a stream of obscenities to banish the evil.

Is Macbeth really cursed or have all the disasters in its 400-year history been nothing but a series of coincidences?


Sources: The Austin Chronicle and pret allez

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

macbeth was said in our school theater and our lead broke his leg and 4 members were in a car accident!

Anonymous said...

The word was said in the theater at my school and all the lighting stopped working and hasn't been able to function right since.

Anonymous said...

I was at an outdoor play about two years ago and one of the actors said the word "Macbeth". Right at that exact moment, one of the spotlights (which was set up in a tree) exploded and the tree caught on fire. There was a bit of shock from everyone, but the fire department came and the play continued.

anonymous said...

somebody said it in the school auditorium and some kids got into car accidents (thank god they are still alive)

 
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