Friday, 24 July 2009

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

The Bard had to make an appearance at some point, and he probably will again, but I thought I'd kick things off with The Scottish Play.

I don't know Macbeth as well as I should, but I do know the following quote which tells you all you need to know about the pitfalls of drinking until ‘second cock’. It points out rather nicely the duality of booze: it ‘provokes the desire’ but takes away any capability...

MACDUFF. Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,
That you do lie so late?
PORTER. Faith, sir, we were carousing till the second cock; and
drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.
MACDUFF. What three things does drink especially provoke?
PORTER. Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir,
it provokes and unprovokes: it provokes the desire, but it takes
away the performance. Therefore much drink may be said to be an
equivocator with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him; it sets
him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him and disheartens
him; makes him stand to and not stand to; in conclusion,
equivocates him in a sleep, and giving him the lie, leaves him.

After that my conscience is suitably pricked to decide that I really must see the play performed.

1 comment:

  1. So... the mutual exclusivity of drunkenness and the arrival of the second cock is no modern phenomenon.

    Keep up the good work!
    MK xx