7 thoughts on “Ph DUH

  1. I suppose "Scottish" is a way of naming something–or they might simply be more aware of the background and accepted it in lieu of Macbeth–it scored more points than R&J, surprisingly. –Or am I off base and there's something else?

  2. That's what I spotted too, Will. The category is "play with a person's name in it" and the top answer is "Scottish Play", aka Macbeth. I suspect that the contestant answered this way and then they had some conversation about knowing what he meant.

    I believe there's another case that went the other way – was it Jeopardy when the expected answer to a question was Macbeth, and the contestant wouldn't say it, saying only Scottish Play, but they wouldn't give it to him?

  3. So who is it who is actually victim to the curse by pronouncing the name "Macbeth?" Is it only actors or anyone associated with the theater?

  4. The origins are, of course, agreed upon. The 1849 riot which killed 34 and injured over a hundred people, when English actor Charles Macready and American actor Edwin Forrest were both performing the role in NY, Macready at the Astor Place, Forrest at the Broadway.
    All sorts of "accidents" –sandbags falling on actors and crew; spontaneous sicknesses–and deaths, etc., have found their reasons in "The Curse".
    But it has gone through so many variations since then, Carl. I'm not, nor was I ever sure, judging from differences I've heard from those in the biz who act as though they know exactly what it implies.
    But generally speaking, one definite component is that the name must not be pronounced in a theatre setting, by anyone as I understand it, (IE in a theatre or any place used as a theatre space) unless it's within the context of rehearsing or performing the play. In this case, purportedly, "Elvis has NOT left the building". But there are those who believe none of the play should be arbitrarily quoted ANYWHERE, outside of the aforementioned context. Results of the curse may fall on anyone involved.
    It has become a given that no one 'invokes "Macbeth" ' OR ANY LINES from the play, in a theatre for any other reason, and it's pretty much a dictum observed by all, even those who aren't superstitious in that regard, as a sort of 'professional courtesy'.
    I've heard an actor vehemently shouted down, and seriously so, by most of a cast, for warming up, vocally, with a speech from the play.
    I do have to note that during one of the three times I've performed the role, I came down with a very serious case of walking pneumonia, the cause of which I wasn't able to determine…logistically speaking, that is… :))

  5. Correction: I should have said the origins for curse's popularization in America. The tragic events brought the rumblings of the curse to bear in a very big way, and seems to be, at least here, the most well-known main event cited in conjunction with the curse itself.

    Something I wasn't aware of: "legend" has it that it actually began in 1606, and involved the death of a boy actor playing Lady M during a performance–and that Shakespeare had to take over the role???!!!???
    You can see how all sorts of confusions can evolve out of 'passed-down facts'. Leave out a word or two and it becomes something altogether different.

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