At 6, getting Lady Macbeth

When our granddaughter Silvia was six, the local Shakespeare company toured public libraries, having children enact scenes from Macbeth. As much curious how they’d do it as looking for Saturday morning entertainment, I took Silvia.

The troupe was clever. With some strips of cloth, a broomstick and a pot, they did the three witches with kids enthusiastically adding elements for the brew: Thumbtacks! Eyeballs! Dog poop! A happy boy playing Banquo’s host scampered around an improvised banquet table terrorizing uber-guilty Macbeth. With a few branches and improvised cloaks, they did Burnam Wood creeping up Dunsinane Hill.

Afterwards, as we went out to the car, Silvia wanted “the whole story.” She was an absolute glutton for stories. If I was taking her somewhere, she’d generously offer me “the whole time until we get to the car to think of a story for me.” Fortunately I knew the bones of Macbeth well enough.

So as I put her in the car seat and started off, I went through the witch prophecy, Macbeth’s letter to Lady M, his notion that they let time work its magic and make him king, her counter-proposal that they hurry fate along by offing Duncan and his reluctant agreement.

“Then,” I said, “he had second thoughts, because Duncan was a good king, and a guest, so Macbeth told his wife he didn’t want to kill Duncan. She got angry and called him a coward.”

“So he did it, right?” Silvia demanded from her car seat. “That line gets men every time.”

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

Posted in WWWS
3 comments on “At 6, getting Lady Macbeth
  1. Roz says:

    This is a lovely telling of a story with a surprise ending.


  2. Anonymous says:

    With the other surprise: how did she figure this out so fast?


  3. Larry says:

    Silvia is remarkably insightful and wise beyond her years.


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Sunday, May 6, 2pm reading from latest work at Hexagon Brewing Company, Knoxville, TN.

Thursday, May 10, 6-8 pm presentation on research on the historical novel, Blount County Library, Maryville, TN.

When We Were Strangers, Italian translation, to be presented in Pescasseroli, Italy, August 2018.

Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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