Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Samhain! Now with Shakespeare

I'm fully prepared for the chocolate beggars, finally. Although several of the lines in this bit of Billy's verse are problematic, I really do love this scene. If nothing else, the line "by the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes" is extremely useful in announcing the arrival of certain folks to a group. The realization that I passed maid quite a bit ago, and am now firmly in mother territory is not pleasant but then neither is the dark season of winter following the harvest that Samhain welcomes. At least I have a minute before crone sets in.

MACBETH: ACT IV, SCENE I. A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.

Thunder. Enter the three Witches
First Witch
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.

Second Witch
Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

Third Witch
Harpier cries 'Tis time, 'tis time.

First Witch
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.

Second Witch
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

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

Third Witch
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

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

Second Witch
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Enter HECATE to the other three Witches

O well done! I commend your pains;
And every one shall share i' the gains;
And now about the cauldron sing,
Live elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.

Music and a song: 'Black spirits,' & c

HECATE retires

Second Witch
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks!


Bardiac said...

Guess what play I'm teaching this week! It's a good thing the English department membership permanently frees me from theatrical superstitions!

Have you read *The Witch of Edmonton*? OMG, it's soooo good! (Speaking of crones and such.

HeoCwaeth said...

LoveloveLOVE *The Witch of Edmonton*!

Uh-oh, does referencing "The Scottish Play" mean all my houseplants will die now? (Or, more accurately, can I blame their impending death on this moment?)

And people wonder why I don't want kids.

Bardiac said...

No worries. English department affiliated academics are permanently protected from all theatrical superstitions! It's like magic! The Flying Spaghetti Monster says so (or would if she'd thought about it).

And if you have any doubts, just think how many Shakespeare professors teach Macbeth at any given time, and how few of us are struck by lightning or whatever.

That doesn't, alas, mean you can say the words in a theatrical context where superstitions make people who are already pretty, ermm, dramatic, just totally insane. But that's more for your own protection.

Bardiac said...

ps. As to not wanting kids: ever notice how even the kids we're sort of meant to sympathize with in Shakespeare... you still want to kill them? /nod

I'm pretty much ready to smack Macduff's kid LONG before the murderers enter in that scene.

rootlesscosmo said...

OK, that's it: I'm opening a delicatessen called Liver of Blaspheming Jew. (What am I, chopped eye of newt?)