I Spot You Some Fun Facts about Macbeth

SHAKESPEARE Tragedy Play BANQUET MURDER SCENE MACBETH ~ 1879 Art ...

Lady Macbeth’s real name was Gruoch… an ugly name to be sure, but is it any uglier than “Edith”?

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After Macbeth died, he was succeeded by his step son, Lulach the Idiot: A name that inspired confidence in everyone who opposed him.

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It is considered bad luck to say “Macbeth” in a theater… performers call it, instead, “That Scottish Play”. Yes, in addition to having an uncountable number of crippling neuroses, actors are also superstitious.

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During a nineteenth century performance of Macbeth, actor William McGonagall actually refused to die on stage because he felt his costar had stolen his scenes. Rumor has it that many in the audience fell ill due to a lack of closure.

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Four of the X-Men from the Marvel movies have played Macbeth… in case you were wondering why the X-Men movies have enough overacting to provide dramatic scenes for a hundred movies. Patrick Stewart was acting so vigorously in a scene with Ian McClellan that he burst a blood vessel in his eye…

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Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s shortest plays… nearly half the length of Hamlet…. yet, the two plays run about the same time. This is because directors tend to hire auctioneers to play Hamlet and Queen Gertrude.

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In the play, Macbeth meets his fate pretty quickly after the murder; however, historical Macbeth actually ruled for seventeen years. Modern playwrights address this by adding the line, “Boy did THOSE seventeen years pass quickly”, just before the final battle.

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Spoiler alert: Early in the play, three witches tell you EVERYTHING THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE PLAY. This is the first instance of the person who spoils the surprise literally being a part of the play.

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Macbeth was the first king to make a pilgrimage to Rome. He was disappointed not to find any pilgrims.

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Although the play shows Macbeth murdering Duncan in bed, he actually killed King Duncan on the battlefield. Duncan just happened to be in bed at the time…

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19 thoughts on “I Spot You Some Fun Facts about Macbeth

  1. “Lulach the Idiot: A name that inspired confidence in everyone who opposed him.” Haha… I wish we all still had qualifiers to go with our names still. It would make things so much easier!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Careful what you wish for, Robyn. Usually, we are known more for our mistakes than our successes…

      Remember there was a Charles the Bald AND a Charles the Mad… And an Aethelred the Unready…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can empathize with Macbeth not finding any pilgrims on his pilgrimage to Rome — I didn’t find any bulls on my trip to Istanbul (but I did see a turkey in Turkey — though it wasn’t as big a turkey as this comment).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved teaching Macbeth. We always did it in October, and the kids read the parts in costume (Plays weren’t written to be read, they were written to be performed.). One year I did a musical number with the kids for assembly, to the tune of “Louie, Louie,” with the kids acting it out and the three witches as my backup singers. If the kids knew the song, they knew the plot of the whole play in 4 verses.

    Liked by 1 person

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