A Stew of Controversy



from Macbeth

A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.

                Enter the three Witches.

              1 WITCH.  Round about the caldron go;
    In the poison’d entrails throw.—
    Toad, that under cold stone,
    Days and nights has thirty-one;
    Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot!
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
       2 WITCH.  Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the caldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
    Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
    Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
    For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
       3 WITCH.  Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
    Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf
    Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark;
    Root of hemlock digg’d i the dark;
    Liver of blaspheming Jew;
    Gall of goat, and slips of yew
    Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse;
    Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips;
    Finger of birth-strangled babe
    Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,—
    Make the gruel thick and slab:
    Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
    For the ingrediants of our caldron.
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
       2 WITCH.  Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
    Then the charm is firm and good.

Remember the Three Witches in “Macbeth?  “Eye of neut” (Not Newt Gingrich)…”toe of frog,” “tongue of dog”…etc…Well, there’s a movie out now named “Anonymous” that seeks to capitalize on the continual question:

“Did William Shakespeare, son of a glovemaker from Stratford,  really pen that motherload of classical literature?” (People have pondered this for aeons).

This movie argues that the Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, is the real author all those poems and plays. After all, he had the education…the travel experience…the exposure to pull it off.  A big problem, however?  Edward died before 10 of the plays were allegedly written.

The gist of the argument against Shakespeare authorship is:  “How could a poor, uneducated young man (William Shakespeare) really be the author of such literary masterpieces, demanding intellect, exposure, and seminal knowledge of many topics?” 

It’s a good question–really. 

But then again, how does one explain the composition genius of a deaf  Beethoven, or child prodigy Mozart? Is genius just inexplicable, never following predictors? What do you think?

Here’s an interesting Opinion piece  that appeared recently in the New York Times, written by James Shapiro, explaining the authorship debate.

***Finally, Shakespeare (or whoever) never suffered the rigors of today’s political correctness (where even Mark Twain’s work is suggested ‘racist.’)  Makes one wonder how he (or whoever) would have been regarded today, considering his reference to:  “blaspheming Jew…Nose of  TurkTartar’s lips.” (Remember, those will make a ‘hell-broth boil and bubble.’)

Now, “Soup anyone?”

About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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