“Double, double toil and trouble.”
Composer Giuseppi Verdi enthusiastically declared that Shakespeare’s Macbeth “is one of the greatest creations of man!” Harnessing this passionate admiration, he went on to craft the first of his three completed operas based on Shakespeare plays. Verdi’s Macbeth is full of powerful choral pieces, arias from a royal couple lurching toward self-destruction, and Verdi’s own personal vision of a people yearning to free themselves from despotic oppression. In the end, Macbeth concludes that life is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” but to Verdi, the tyrant’s downfall brings soaring triumph to a suffering people, and perhaps something closer to self-determination.
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For more cultural and arts commentary by Kathleen Van De Wille, visit Constructive Criticism on Substack.