nightbird: Mucha illustration, young peasant holding scythe and grain (jazz age)
Last night I finished the reread of Macbeth that I started in July (oops). I think I understand part of why I'm so drawn to writing Lady M. Think about this: how many times have you seen a production of the play, onstage or on film? How is Lady Macbeth's madness always portrayed? It comes on very suddenly, mysteriously appearing between Macbeth's dinner party and the "Out, out, damn spot!" scene in Act 5. And she's alway so goddamn pathetic: she whines and weeps and mewls and cries.

I'm sorry, what? Why would this brilliant, amazing woman, this woman who asks for her blood to be made thick, "that no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose," be brought so low and so passive?

Think of how much more terrifying and fitting this scene is if Lady Macbeth is dangerous, if she's frustrated and snarling and predatory. She wants to control the narrative, and no one can control her. She's a danger to the handmaidens, she's erratic and angry at her husband, she's watching all her work and deeds be lost. Think of it!
The thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now? — What, will these hands ne’er be clean? — No more o’ that, my lord, no more o’ that; you mar all with this starting.
That's what I'm hoping to capture with Gruoch. This is someone who won't go down without a fight. Watch out.

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