"Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferrals of information." -Paulo Friere

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Multitudinous Seas




Seniors--

I want you to get a sense for just how ubiquitous Shakespeare's words are in our popular culture. For your homework, I want you to find some text that directly alludes to this play.

For example, Faulkner titled his novel The Sound and the Fury, alluding to the last line in Macbeth's famous soliloquy on the pointlessness of life.

In a comment on this post, link to something on the internet that quotes or alludes to a line in Macbeth. With the link, write a short paragraph describing the text and how it uses the quote. What new purpose are the words put to? Then, read two or three of your classmates' links so we can have a conversation about them next week. Make sure and sign in with your real name so I can give you credit.


I can't wait to see what you come up with!

26 comments:

  1. In The Mob Song from Beauty and the Beast, Gaston quotes Macbeth, singing "Light your torch, Mount your hourse, Screw your courage to the sticking place" (Act 1, Scene 7). This was part of Lady Macbeth's speech to Macbeth to tell him to kill Duncan and is also used in Beauty and the Beast by Gaston to encourage the mob to kill the beast.

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    1. Sorry, here's the link:

      http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/beauty_and_the_beast/the_mob_song.html

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    2. Wow, I've watched this lots of times as a kid and I never noticed it!
      --Mrs. Poulsen

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  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cgienYCCzk

    In V for Vendetta, V is seen quoting the line "The multiplying villainies of nature do swarm upon him...disdaining fortune/with his brandish'd steel, which smoked with bloody execution...?" (Act 1 Scene 2). In Macbeth, it was when the wounded Captain was talking about how Macbeth fought against the rebel forces despite luck being on the enemies side. In the movie, it is also used when V is going to save Evey from the 3 fingermen who were about to rape her. The quote seems to be used in the same context: fighting against multiply evil entities.

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  3. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/238122

    The poem "Out, Out--" by Robert Frost is a direct allusion to Macbeth's famous soliloquy after Lady Macbeth's death, wherein he says "And all our yesterdays have lighted fools // The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!" (5.5.22-23). In his speech, Macbeth is referring to life as a candle that quickly goes out, as he is in the midst of despair. Frost's poem is also about death, the death of a boy whose hand is cut off by a buzz-saw. The boy in the poem, along with the people around him, seem surprised by his death, similar to how Macbeth initially believes he is immortal but then realizes his doom.

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    1. Ha! We are going to read this poem together...nice find.
      --Mrs. Poulsen

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  4. In Brave New World, there is a line that references Macbeth directly, in fact, Aldous Huxley uses many allusions to Shakespeare's plays. For example, in Chapter 7 of Brave New World, John Savage speaks out when there is a sacrifice ceremony at Malpais, saying that he is willing to be the sacrifice: "The multitudinous seas incarnadine" ( Act 2 Scene 2 Line 61). He says that his bloody hands will turn the sea red, much like how John says that his blood will be "twice as much" as the boy sacrifice, Palowhtiwa.

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    1. Link: http://www.huxley.net/bnw/seven.html

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    2. Yes, good one! The title of this book is also a Shakespeare reference--though to a different play.
      --Mrs. Poulsen

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  5. Allusions to Shakespeare's Macbeth can be seen in various commercials nowadays. For example, Hard Candy, a female cosmetics company used Lady Macbeth's quote, "Out, damned spot!" (Macbeth Act 4 Scene 1 Line 33) to exemplify the annoyance of having blemishes on a person's face. The commercial then further alludes to Macbeth by "offering not only the Out Damn Spot concealer pencil to cover up blemishes, but also a coordinated line of makeup called Macbare and Macbuff." I find this quite funny. :)

    http://www.makeupalley.com/product/showreview.asp/ItemId=56033/Out-Damn-Spot!-in-MacBuff/Hard-Candy/Concealers

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  6. In the movie version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the frog choir sang "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (also known as "Double Trouble") during the welcoming feast in Hogwart. The lyrics of the song is adapted from the entire spell of the Three Witches in Act 4, Scene 1.
    Originally not included in the novel and added for dramatic effect, the song (similar to what the Weird Sisters were doing) provides an ominous feeling in both the movie and play for the audience.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2xfpoQx6oI

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  7. http://public.wsu.edu/~delahoyd/shakespeare/star.trek.html

    I couldn't find the actual episode online, so my link actually leads to an analysis of the bond between Shakespeare's work and Star trek. In this episode of Star trek "Catspaw", Captain Kirk and Spock counters three witches that chant "Winds shall rise / and fog descend / So leave here all / or meet your end.", lines taken directly from Macbeth. Much like in Macbeth, the witches and their ominous lines are supposed to inspire a sense of foreboding, I believe that addition in "Catspaw" was also supposed to bring upon that same effect. This intended effect of apprehension would be highlighted by the allusion to Macbeth as many audiences would likely know the subsequent events and the denouement of the play.

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  8. In Disney's movie adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, "The Mob Song" quotes a line from Macbeth. Towards the end, when Gastro and the angry mob is marching towards the castle demanding the Beast to be killed, Lady Macbeth's line "Screw your courage to the sticking place." Both Gastro and Lady Macbeth use this line in similar circumstances: Gastro is about to kill the Beast and Lady Macbeth is encouraging Macbeth to kill Duncan. The intended effect for both is to give readers/viewers an insight that the singer/speaker are the bad guys. Also, the readers/viewers can also gain knowledge about the bad guys' bloodlust and selfishness.

    Link to the song with lyrics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CES2rLxtO4

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  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrO_brbxKBc

    The song "Overneath the Path of Misery" by Marilyn Manson opens with a famous soliloquy directly from Macbeth : "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."
    Manson uses this quote differently: to explain how bad his life was and how it's better now that he's living the way he wants to. He said, "I give up. When Macbeth said it, it was a resignation. But I read it differently. I started thinking it was empowering. For me, it was a resurrection." This explains how Macbeth acts as a heroic figure to him and how his soliloquy helped him escape the downside in his life. He also said,"..the villain is the person who owns up to what he is and stands by it. He'll do the things that are sometimes morally questionable, but he does it because it's his nature to do it and it doesn't fluctuate." This shows how Manson looks up to Macbeth and his capablity to be who he is and do the things he wants to - that is what made his life better.

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  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8u0vYnAyjVY

    In the cartoon "Donald Duck" on a special Halloween episode the witch, Hazel, uses the lines "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble."
    After she even says that these lines are from Shakespeare. I think it was used in the cartoon simply because it rhymes and sounds good. Little kids would be able to pick it up easily and referencing Shakespeare directly also points the kids towards and important literary figure.

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  11. In one episode of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius called, “Out, Darn Spotlight”, Jimmy and his classmates audition for the school play, “MacBeth in Space”. The episode shows one scene where a foreign exchange student named Bolby Strognaofsky auditions for the role of Macbeth and quotes exactly from Shakespeare’s play (Act 5, Scene 5).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR3LxIc2AIs

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  12. Ray Bradbury’s novel Something Wicked This Way Comes is a direct allusion to a line said by the second witch in Macbeth, "By the pricking of my thumbs / Something wicked this way comes." (Act IV Scene 1) The line refers to the part where the three witches are showing Macbeth visions of an armed head, bloody child and a crowned child. These prophecies end up tricking Macbeth into killing more people in order to become king. Similarly, the “something wicked” in Bradbury’s novel refers to the carnival of freaks who tries to trick the two main protagonists Will and Jim into committing the evil of becoming adults through a mysterious carousel.

    http://scottpinzon.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/something_wicked1.jpg

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  13. In this blogpost http://brightonpebbles.blogspot.tw/2013/11/the-milk-of-human-kindness.html the author of this post refers to "the milk of human kindness" from Macbeth in Act 1 Scene 5 to describe the profound "naturalness" of nature. In the play, "the milk of human kindness" refers to compassion that is built into every human being. Lady Macbeth worries that Macbeth may not be cold and apathetic enough to carry out Duncan's murder. Thus, she uses "the milk of human kindness" in a negative sense--referring to a sense of "feminism" (mothers feed milk to their children). In this blogpost, the author uploaded a photo of beautiful flowers, thus exhibiting the beauty of nature. She also talks about the "essential goodness of mankind". The milk of human kindness that the author refers to is the innate beauty of nature as well as the nature of mankind--specifically, the beauty.

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  14. Edgar Allen Poe's Tell-Tale Heart has allusions to Macbeth as well. In both works of literature, the main character is consumed with the desire to murder. In both cases, the victim is an innocent man who had done no wrong to the main characters. Furthermore both are consumed with guilt after they commit the murder, hallucinating images and sounds, and ultimately being driven insane (in Tell-Tale Heart: "Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men --but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed --I raved --I swore!" and in Macbeth: "Prithee, see there! behold! look! lo!
    how say you? Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.
    If charnel-houses and our graves must send/ Those that we bury back, our monuments/ Shall be the maws of kites.")

    Sources:
    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/poe/telltale.html
    http://shakespeare.mit.edu/macbeth/full.html

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  15. In the TV show Breaking Bad, Macbeth is referenced throughout the course of the show. Specifically, the main character says "Tomorrow, tomorrow" before leaving his cabin, possibly alluding to Macbeth's "Tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow" soliloquy. In addition, the plot has several important plot points that parallel those in Macbeth, such as having a similar list of the pros and cons before a murder.
    Source: http://breakingbad.wikia.com/wiki/Granite_State

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    1. Wow! This sounds like such a nuanced show.

      --Mrs. Poulsen

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  16. In the popular video game "Borderlands 2", there is a level titled "toil and trouble". This is a direct quote reference to Macbeth, as it is spoken by the witches. This line, from act 4 scene 1, is in the play is "double double toil and trouble". My theory is that the developers chose this title as the level is very complicated and troublesome.

    http://borderlands.wikia.com/wiki/Toil_and_Trouble

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    1. Nice! TV shows often do the same thing with episode titles.

      --Mrs. Poulsen

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  17. "To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, 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."

    Zinyak, the main antagonist in the 2013 video game Saint's Row IV, quotes Macbeth's final soliloquy to mock the futility of the main protagonist's quest to save the world. Ironically, in the play, Macbeth is actually describing the futility of his own existence and how his life is devoid of meaning when he is about to be slain by Macduff. This foreshadows Zinyak's downfall toward the end of the game.

    Source: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Funny/SaintsRowIV

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    1. That's a popular line--a very famous soliloquy.

      --Mrs. Poulsen

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