Friday, November 24, 2006

"Out, damned spot! Out, I say!"

Catholic Aristocrat Plans to Change Perceptions of MacBeth

By The Universe: A Catholic aristocrat is trying to rehabilitate the memory of one of Scotland’s Kings, claiming that he was the nation’s greatest ever monarch.

Lady Angelika Cawdor, from Cawdor Castle near Nairn, wants to honour the memory of Macbeth, whose good reputation she claims has been destroyed by William Shakespeare’s 1606 tragedy.

“The story of Macbeth is known throughout the world but it’s historically inaccurate,” said Lady Cawdor.

“Everyone thinks he was this ghastly character but it’s completely untrue. Macbeth was arguably Scotland’s greatest ever king and his 17-year reign was a golden age for the country. I hold Shakespeare in great esteem but his play ruined Macbeth’s reputation.”

Last year was the 1,000th anniversary of Macbeth’s birth and this year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s world-famous literary work.

“It would be nice to do something to mark these anniversaries,” explained Lady Cawdor.

“Shakespeare has been great for Cawdor Castle but I believe it’s our duty to try to improve the image of Macbeth. I have a clear idea of what I’d like. I’d love a beautiful Caithness slab carved with a tribute to Macbeth.”

She added: “We tell visitors to the castle he was nothing like the man portrayed in Shakespeare’s play.

“People also often presume Macbeth murdered Duncan in Cawdor Castle but this was not the case in either the play or real life. Macbeth’s reign lasted 17 years, which was unheard of in those days, and he was extremely popular. I think it would be wonderful to erect a monument to him in Cawdor which acknowledges the fact he was a great king.”

"In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave;
After life's fitful fever he sleeps well.
Treason has done his worst; nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
Can touch him further." (Act III, Scene 2)

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