The Wake…Friday Fictioneers.

“The king is dead, long live the king!” Iris flung her arms around the legend she’d created. Despite all but proof they’d murdered the golden boy of Australian racing, Bob was now Lead Driver of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team and she was the Queen. It was just as the psychic predicted. In ten short days, Bob was going to win the Bathurst 1000 and be crowned the King of the Mountain. Yet, what was this spot stuck to the palm of her hand? No matter how hard she scrubbed, it wouldn’t wash away. It was driving her mad.

…..

If you’ve ever read Macbeth, you’ll realize that my contribution this week was based on Shakespeare’s tale of ruthless ambition and the pursuit of power at any cost. You see, I’ve been re-reading Macbeth this week, to help my son who’s getting his dose of Shakespeare like generations of school kids before him. Although I’d read Macbeth at school, I couldn’t remember anything more than “bubble bubble toil and trouble” and while he actively resists my efforts to help him with his homework, I thought it might help to talk it over. So far he hasn’t agreed, but I’m quite chuffed that I’ve almost reached the end.

It’s so much easier to understand Shakespeare now that I’m in my 40’s and could consult the great Google guru before I’d even read the text and had a frame of reference. Back in the day, all I had was my teacher who stood out the front spoon-feeding us understanding, which we memorized and regurgitated in essays. There was none of this thinking for yourself kind of stuff. My son is needing to create a picture book based on Macbeth. That’s a lot of thinking and I’d personally find having to draw as well write rather terrifying. That’s what illustrators are for.

By the way, the Bathurst 1000 is a 1,000-kilometre touring car race held annually on the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. It is currently run as a championship event for Supercars. Wikipedia

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by  Rochelle Wishoff Fields. Each week we write 100 words to a photo prompt. This week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Priorhouse. We’d love you to come and join us.

By the way, do you have any memories of encountering the joys of Shakespeare when you were at school? If so, I’d love you to share them in the comments.

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

29 thoughts on “The Wake…Friday Fictioneers.

  1. Gary A Wilson

    Hi Rowena, this teacher is brilliant. Shakespeare was tough for me and I was (am really) addicted to reading. I had a couple of great literature instructors and despite how much I loved them, they did spoon-feed classical understanding of each piece. I never did finish Macbeth having found myself to be much more of the A Midsummer Night’s Dream personality. Drawing a new image from the story is just brilliant! I hope your son comes to realize it.

  2. Iain Kelly

    A nice updating of the tale. I did Shakespeare at school and university. To be honest I always feel the text alone, wonderful as it is, never gives the full picture – seeing the plays performed in theatre is the way to really get to grips with them.

  3. granonine

    I agree with Lain. Unfortunately, there isn’t always an opportunity to go to a live play. So–I resorted to You Tube last year when I taught “The Merchant of Venice,” and it did seem to help my students’ understanding of the events.

  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    I have started to go to play readings… it’s actually a way to get to feel a play without having to go through the big productions… just actors sitting on a stage reading the play, (but it’s always new plays)…

    Great thing to move the play to modern time, there are still the telltale spots of murder committed.

  5. Prior...

    I like your take on the supercars and power pursuits – also, hope the book comes out well for your son –
    and for me in High School – the awesome Mrs. George actually helped us see the greatness in Shakespeare’s content – but because of the tough writing I think we need it spoon-fed at times – and then of course – glad to be able to think and chew and have search engine help.

    lastly… re: the spot on the hand
    what a coincidence – JUST yesterday I shared with some students about a time I did a Lady Macbeth monologue in high school:

    “Out, damned spot!”

    well that was part of it…

    – so your timing is good for me.
    enjoyed this

  6. Sandra

    I’ve seen several modern day productions of Shakespeare classics, and purist though I am, I’ve always thought the modern setting lends that little extra something to each. Nicely done.

  7. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much, Sandra. While I was chasing up Macbeth, I found an episode of The Simpsons where they were putting on Macbeth and Homer was playing a tree and Marge egged him on and he murdered the lead actor and took over the role of Macbeth. Is nothing sacred? My last experience of seeing Shakespeare live was at Shakespeare by the Sea at Sydney’s Balmoral Beach, which since evolved into Bards on the Beach. I was quite pleased that I found it much easier to read and feel encouraged to try something else.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  8. pennygadd51

    I liked your take on Macbeth. As well as the Shakespeare reference, the spot that she couldn’t remove made me think of melanoma – which sounds a not-unfitting end for a murderer. I took small parts in Shakespeare plays at school and college; good fun, and a great way to learn about the plays.

  9. scooj

    I can still recall a short speech by Lady M…from 40 years ago…here goes:

    Come thick night
    And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell
    That my keen knife see not the wound it makes
    Nor heaven peek through the blanket of the dark
    To cry hold, hold.

    Of course I might have got this a bit wrong, it has been a long time.

  10. rochellewisoff

    Dear Rowena,

    Interesting take on Shakespeare. Got the reference to out, damn spot. That made me smile. It’s always fun to update the “oldies.”

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    PS There’s no h in Wisoff. 😉

  11. subroto

    Hmm interesting concept, Macbeth as a Bathurst racing car driver.

    Is this a Holden which I see before me,
    The steering wheel toward my hand? Come, let me rev the clutch.
    I have turned the ignition and yet I see thee still.

    We had a great teacher in school. Those were the pre-google and youtube days but he got us a recording of Midsummer’s Night Dream done for the radio and it was amazing. It just happened that we both ended up in Australia and I finally got a chance to meet him again a few years back in Sydney.

  12. Rowena Post author

    I love your continuation of the story. Well done.
    Sounds like you had an amazing teacher and it must’ve been very special to meet him again. I had a very inspirational fifth grade teacher and I’ve aught up with him a few times. He now lives out at Nimbin. It’s incredible how some teachers make such an impact on your life and who you become.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  13. lisarey1990

    A wonderful retelling. Great write.

    I did learn The Merchant of Venice & Othello in school. Shakespeare is a writer I have always tried to get into being a writer & he being the ‘grandfather’ of writers but I’ve never been able to. When I hear the synopsis of his stories I think they are brilliantly creative but when I read them apart from one or two of them I get lost with the language which is a pity.

  14. JoHawkTheWriter

    Great retelling of the story. Macbeth is my favorite. I recall my lit teacher making us close our eyes while she played a recording of it. It made it more real somehow. Nicely done.

  15. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Jo.
    That’s a great idea your teacher had to get you to listen to it first. I’ve found some of the tactics teachers use to teach Shakespeare quite intriguing. The language is quite lyrical and it is a play so wasn’t meant to be read from the page the way we do today.
    I liked elements of Macbeth but I think I prefer Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. I can recite slabs of Romeo and Juliet without even trying.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  16. Rowena Post author

    Lisa, I was quite surprised that I managed to get Macbeth under my belt and I certainly found it easier than when I was at school. I wasn’t trying to understand every word and just get the gist of it. Focus on the soliloquies which interested me or I remembered. Some of them are almost as memorable as hearing “Here Comes the bride”. These grand Shakespearean phrases like: “Bubble Bubble toil and trouble”. It also helped to read a synopsis before I read the text.
    I also don’t believe that Shakespeare is the be all and end all of writers. I really love Kahlil Gibran’s: “The Prophet”. Have you read that? I only came across it about 10 years ago and can’t believe I went through the Arts Faculty and studied English at Sydney Uni and never came across it. I love it. I hope that helps.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  17. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Sascha. You’re the second person who has mentioned that. I could definitely hear it spoken as I reads it. I’ve definitely seen a production of Macbeth before. Could well have been when we studied it at school. I don’t know how I’ll go with a play I didn’t study at school, but my experience with reading Macbeth was very encouraging.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  18. Rowena Post author

    Scooj, isn’t it amazing what we retain from school. It makes me wonder how much has stayed in the memory bank since. I remember going over and over texts and memorizing them and also studied French and walked to school memorizing palm cards on the way. That was in the days before screens and phones.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  19. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Penny. Yes, melanoma does seem s fitting end for a murderer, although sadly I know a few really lovely people who’ve survived and been taken out by melanoma.
    I regret not getting involved in drama at uni, although I did do performance poetry readings where I read my own poetry. It certainly helps to bring it to life.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  20. JoHawkTheWriter

    You know I think listening to Macbeth was the one thing that truly influenced my affinity for Shakespeare. I remember she also said that a plays were not meant to be read.
    I too have great blocks of Shakespeare’s plays memorized. Marc Anthony’s address at Julius Caesar’s funeral was the first. My mother taught it to me before I was in kindergarten. Later I picked up other chunks from plays and poetry. Good stuff. 😊

  21. lisarey1990

    No, I never read “The Prophet”. I hadn’t heard of it but I must check it out. & definitely synopsis’ in advance with Shakespeare are most helpful! 🙂

  22. Alicia Jamtaas

    Each year, my husband and I travel across the border to Vancouver, B.G. to Bard on the Beach to see Shakespeare live. We now attend two productions on different days. Macbeth was the first one we saw this year. I love where you took this prompt.

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