Lytton High School’s 2001 Shakespeare in Schools production. The women’s drama team at Lytton High School is this year performing a compilation of scenes from the Scottish play Macbeth. The setting is the 1980’s and the focal point is women and their power. Lady Macbeth is a power hungry feminist of the 1980’s, intent to unr id herself of all felinity to gain power and control. The witches, businesswomen with a mission, are determined to play with her vaulting ambition. It is inevitable that with such a theme, lines have been borrowed from male characters and given where appropriate to the female counterpart.
This has three intended purposes. Firstly to emphasise the central role women played in influencing the action in Macbeth. Secondly to highlight the marginalisation of women and the text they receive in the play. Lady Macbeth and the witches also speak their traditional allocated lines. However these lines are given at the end in a social context. The lines are making a statement: that to be women and to want power can only end in madness, or alternatively can only be expressed through the supernatural.
The performance takes the audience through 4 short scenes. Initially, Lady Macbeth is portrayed as a formidable figure: determined and focused. The witches begin as a backseat to Lady Macbeth, although an omnipresence on stage. As the performance develops so do the witches, their uprising is parallel with Lady Macbeth’s demise. In the end the witches reign supreme and Lady Macbeth goes mad. The audience is left with the impression that to be powerful women in this play (and therefore Shakespearean time) you must be derived from the supernatural.
Throughout the play "Macbeth", two of the main characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth gradually exchange roles. Macbeth is the kind, caring one of the two in the beginning, but completely changes as the play goes on, as with Lady Macbeth. She starts out as an evil, vicious beast. She is an evil woman who is bond and determined to kill Duncan. At the end of the play this character feels guilt for ...
Lady Macbeth is an illustration of ambition gone mad, a lesson to be learnt for women who challenge existing structures and hunt for the power of a man. This lesson is a slap in the face for women and Lytton High School’s performance is hoping to leave the audience not only entertained, but also thinking about these issues.