Milestones: Macbeth

Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

William Shakespeare, MacBeth

According to the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Lit Hub Daily, today in 1611, the first known performance of Macbeth was performed at the Globe Theater.

We recognized that William Shakespeare was an extraordinary writer and poet, but he was also politically astute. King James I was known to be a theatre enthusiast.

What better way to welcome King James but with the play, Macbeth, which was set in King James’s native Scotland and included the King’s real-life ancestor, Banquo (Lord Banquo, the Thane of Lochaber), who was positioned as a good and just man destined to have monarchs in his bloodline.

The three witches was a brilliant touch which would have appealed to King James because of his interest in witchcraft. In fact, he considered himself an expert in this area of study having written a book on this subject in 1597.

Dr. Simon Forman was at the first public performance of Macbeth. Most likely, King James had a private performance with is thought to have occurred in August or December 1606.

Can you imagine the crowd when the witches appeared chanting for the first time in public: Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Those lines still have the power to ignite our imagination and draw us deeper into the narrative.

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

9 thoughts on “Milestones: Macbeth

  1. Thank you for your invitation to join you on your walk, this time to the Vancouver Art Gallery, always an exciting place. It is extraordinary that the University of British Columbia has one of the first folio of Wm. Shakespeare; it has all his plays. histories and comedies. Interesting that his first words were recorded on a folio, a large paper folded once. These folios were usually reserved for important words from doctors, medicine, history or medicine, this was the first to be dedicated to drama! Thank you for including the quotes! ! It is true Wm. Shakespeare is more alive now than ever and we are what dreams are made of.

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    1. We always consider Shakespeare a creative with a quill in hand and a contemplate look of a poet. I now understand he was shrewd in business and politically astute. I have a feeling his would enjoy the Canadian band, Rush. Many thanks for celebrating Macbeth’s first theatre production, Dave!

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  2. What a wonderful exhibition, Rebecca. Macbeth was my first introduction to Shakespeare when I was at school. I’ve gone on to love seeing his work performed whenever I get the opportunity!

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    1. Thank you, Chris. I am delighted that you celebrated this milestone with me. I am looking forward to this summer when Bard on the Beach comes back to Vancouver after be closed for 2 years. They will be preforming “A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Can hardly wait to hear these words:

      “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind”. William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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