Something Wicked This Way Comes: A Salute to Macbeth

Oct 15, 2013

Poster of Thos. W. Keene in William Shakespeare's MacBeth, c. 1884.
Credit WJ Morgan & Co. Lith., Wikimedia

It's probably an accident that there are so many ways to experience the story of Macbeth right now.
We seem to be living in a moment where ambition has gone mad.

Our federal government seems to be many Macbeths and no Banquos or Duncans.
Meanwhile, the Shakespeare play is up at Hartford Stage, and Trinity Cinestudio has offered chances to see two other versions. In Manhattan, there's still a chance to see the long running "Sleep No More," an odd deconstruction in which the audiences chases the characters through a multi-storied ghostly hotel.
The basic question of Macbeth is always relevant. Why do leaders -- almost all leaders -- wind up doing thins that seem quite of out character and frequently quite monstrous?  Are those qualities preemptively embedded in the man or woman, or do circumstances warp good character? We'll talk about the Scottish "Breaking Bad" on today's show.

Questions or comments? Email Colin@wnpr.org, tweet @wnprcolin, or comment below!


  • David Scott Kastan is the George M. Bodman Professor of English at Yale
  • Jennifer Roberts is the Director of Education at Hartford Stage
  • Elizabeth Williamson is the Senior Dramaturg and Director of New Play Development at Hartford Stage (also dramaturg for both Macbeth & La Dispute, and translator for La Dispute)
  • Darko Tresnjak is the Artistic Director of Hartford Stage