April 20th, 2016


Interesting Links for 20-04-2016


30 days of Shakespeare: Day 2 - your favourite character

I'm a political animal, and I am fascinated by the way that Shakespeare looks at leadership and kingship, what we might today call governance. Many of his plays are about politicians who get it tragically wrong - Brutus, Richard III, Coriolanus, Macbeth. I think Macbeth is much the most interesting. His character arc takes him from trusted chieftain to demented despot to death in disgrace; he is offered temptation by the witches, goes for it and then finds that ὕβρις brings νέμεσις.

As a teenager, I really enjoyed two novels inspired by Macbeth which both came out around that time. One was Dorothy Dunnett's King Hereafter, which rehabilitates him as a successful Scottish king and part-time Viking chieftain; the other is Ngaio Marsh's Light Thickens, a murder mystery set around a stage production of the play. Both made me think a lot about how stories are written and told, especially this particular story.

Of course some silly stories are also told about this story:

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