General Discussion

Shakespeare's Macbeth and a Certain President
CharleyHorse at 6:04PM, Nov. 19, 2007
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Okay, this is a bit political, which is why I didn't drop it into one of the comic discussion forums, but it is also about cartooning and so I want to see if this makes any sort of sense to anyone.

For reasons beyond my control I have had to essentially rewrite some extensive notes on Shakespeare's play Macbeth. You know the one wherein the three witches convince this Scottish general to betray his king and the kingdom, usurp the throne, methodically destroy all his known and potential enemies while gradually trashing the very kingdom that he coveted? In the process he gradually becomes as mad as a hatter. Yeah, that one, with all the stilted prose and so forth.

Does anyone see anyway to shoehorn the current president of the U.S. of A. into the role of Macbeth for the purpose of creating a cartoon based knock-off version of the play? Granted the fictional character Macbeth is portrayed as a genuine man's man and successful general whereas our current fearless leader is pretty much a paper tiger, but both had/have huge egos and towering ambition and about as much intelligent foresight as a male spider thinking that the sweet looking female black widow spider is looking sexy indeed.

So if our president could be shoehorned into the role of the ambitious but shortsighted king, then who in the hell could be made to fit into the role of Lady Macbeth, the partner with a backbone of total steel and more balls than any pen full of full grown bulls? True she eventually goes insane and commits suicide, but still she had major league backbone.

Would karl Rove fit that part if the role were altered from that of wife to that of partner? I don't think that Condoleeza Rice would work because she has no obvious inner circle role nowadays. Well, maybe. But would it perhaps be Dick Cheney's perfect role instead? Many people have argued that he is the real president, and so maybe that would work. I kind of like the notion now that I think of it.

Okay, about the role of king Duncan, the monarch that got the knife from Macbeth at the beginning of the play . . . would that be the correct niche for what's his name . . . Al Gore?

What about Macduff, the nobleman who eventually splits bad king Macbeth in half? Hmmm . . . Hillary Clinton?

The witches are obvious, I'd say. I mean what better role for talk radio's Rush Limbaugh and Fox network's Sean Hannity and Bill O'Rielly?

So can anyone see something like this working? If I've got the guts to tackle it I would script it in contemporary prose not Shakespearean babble-speak. The setting would have to be contemporary as well, I'm thinking. But I don't really know. Truth to tell I probably won't ever tackle such an ambitious and difficult cartooning project. It's just that the thought has been on my mind since the striking similarities between Macbeth and dunder-head the wonder president occurred to me during the process of writing up these extensive notes.

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If this needs to be shuffled off into another forum, I understand. If it needs to be locked, I understand that as well. It's just been preying on my mind lately and I wanted to finally toss it out there to see what happened. Thanks for reading this.

CharleyHorse




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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
RentAThug at 6:32PM, Nov. 19, 2007
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I actually think that a well-done Bush-as-MacBeth scenario would be a very entertaining comic.


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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:05PM
CharleyHorse at 6:49PM, Nov. 19, 2007
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Currently I'm thinking that the characters would have the recognized names while also being clear caricatures of these people; that is, work up some caricature sketches of these politicians and propagandists.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
DAJB at 12:15AM, Nov. 20, 2007
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I'm not sure this works. Macbeth is pretty much a puppet of other people's ambitions (notably his wife's) but otherwise a decent man (at least to start with). Bush may well be a puppet in that he seems to be a mouthpiece for some neo-Con think tank, but he does actually seem to believe the nonsense he spouts.

The neo-Cons would make a great coven of witches persuading Bush that his destiny is to rule the world, but I don't see Bush himself as a “decent” Macbeth figure; plus - as you say - there's no obvious Lady Macbeth pulling his strings. Unless maybe Bush senior? That could possibly work …

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
mlai at 4:32AM, Nov. 20, 2007
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The ppl who hate Bush would think Macbeth is too good for him. The ppl who love Bush and therefore won't read your comic, well, won't.

I believe it's a matter of personal charisma. Ppl who hate him think he's a stumpy retard Fundist toadie, zero charisma, therefore won't care to read him. Hitler would engender more readership because at least that man is interesting.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
CharleyHorse at 6:54AM, Nov. 20, 2007
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Yes, DAJB and mlai, you've both raised key sticking points in the notion. Bush definitely does not fit into the Macbeth scenario if one is going to adhere to historical reality then or now. I'm aware of the problem, which is why I'm uncertain about the viability of the project.

Part of the answer would be to move everything significantly into the future along the lines of a Star Wars sort of background, but keep the names and physical resemblance true to the current batch of villains mucking up our nation as I type this. So since reality and truth would already be altered to this extent one could finish the task, shoehorning people into the traditional roles of Shakespeare's play.

This possible answer occurred to me last night. The more I think about it the more I believe that this just might work. Sure, the unfolding story would have darn little to do with what has actually happened in the ‘real world’ since 2000, but still the raw nature of using Bush and company's names in the easily recognizable roles of the famous play would have much more visceral impact I believe than placing Hitler and the madman's inner circle people into the roles; that is, have more of an impact with contemporary readers.

It just might work.

As for the rest, Mlai, doing this would be for my own emotional and intellectual satisfaction and for the joy of filing off the serial numbers, so to speak, to make everything work more or less correctly.

Also, along the same lines as the notions above, it would also work simply to transport all of todays nefarious scum-buckets into the past and place them inside castle Dunsinane and so forth, in period costume, keeping them - again - with the recognizable features and names of Bush and company.

Oooooh! That might just be the better idea, because then they could actually be treated like actors. Nah, I would probably drive myself crazy trying to keep everything straight in my head if I ran it with contemporary villains as legitimate actors playing the part of ancient villains and heros and spear carriers.

Not that I actually intend to put any of this into effect, mind you; but, yeah, I'm beginning to see how it could be made to work.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM

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