Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bravo, Hugo!

Well, we finally got around to renting the new BBC version of Macbeth and watching it last night. My sister told me about it a while ago and we have wanted to watch because her grandson, our great-nephew, Hugo Docking (seen here with my sis, his grandma, on a cold English winter's day!)...

...plays the role of Macduff's son. His big (and final!) moment comes in Act IV, Scene 2, in a cheeky exchange with his mother, after Macduff has fled for England to get help in halting Macbeth's murderous rampage on the path to power. It's a tricky little scene, and needs to be played somewhere between smart-ass and innocent, and our Hugo--now an early teenager--did a beautiful job in striking that delicate balance. At the end of the scene, he has to confront his murderers, and does so with a fine mix of fear and defiance. Bravo to him! It was quite a kick to see him playing with the grownups in what I thought was generally a great production. It captured the dark and bloody vision of the play, transporting it into a twentieth century context and combining grim realism with a surreal twist. It's a three-hour production, well worth the time.

And of course, for our purposes on The Buddha Diaries, we should note that "Macbeth" is a thoroughly Buddhist play! It's all about karma--the inevitable course of action and consequence. As Macbeth puts it, "blood will have blood" (Act II, Scene 4.) His bloody deed is shortly rewarded with a bloody demise; and his wife's mad urgings lead to her speedy descent into real madness. Clearly, this Shakespeare guy shared some of the wisdom of the Buddha...

Great job, Hugo!

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