Brief Candles and Macbeth

Not a poem, not a story, not an essay, this is just a musing

Recently I watched Orson Welles’ Macbeth with my son.  It’s one  of his masterful everything from nothing films, put together on a shoestring budget and delivered as fine art. Although, even as he pointed out, the costumes are a little rough, with Orson’s Macbeth looking like a cross between a Scottish king and the Statue of Liberty. No pun intended, Orson took liberties with all source material, but he was reverential to the bard and this familiar passage, once again, resonated.

“She should have died hereafter.
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

(Macbeth, William Shakespere)

The language is so beautiful, yet it drives plot and character within its poetry. Dang. Some folks nowadays question whether Shakespeare wrote all the stuff himself, but does it matter? The words live and breathe, a living world twitter can’t touch.

As a side “note,” this passage also reminds me of the Zombies great “pinch” from Odyssey and Oracle, “Brief Candles.”

Published by Doug Hoekstra

Father, wordsmith, musician, creative.

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