Friday, November 6, 2009

Shakespeare in Singlish - Macbeth, Act 1

Rebel Macdonwald supported by army from Ireland and the Hebrides, has just been killed by brave Macbeth on the battlefield. However as soon as the Scottish have defeated the Irish, the Norwegian king took his chance to attack them. The Norwegian king was further assisted by the traitor thane of Cawdor. However instead of retreating, Macbeth and Banquo fought doubly hard and won the battle. Finally the defeated Norwegian king asked for a treaty for peace. Delighted, the Scottish king Duncan announced that he will reward Macbeth as the new thane of Cawdor.

Returning from their victory, Macbeth and Banquo crossed the path of the three witches.

What are these
So withered and so wild in their attire,
That look not like th' inhabitants o' th' Earth,
And yet are on ’t?

Eeeww... What are these things?
They got so many wrinkles and the way they dress so bizarre.
They don't look like they belong here,
but why are they here leh?

All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis!

All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!

All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!

Banquo was amazed how Macbeth has been stunted by the predictions of those three witches. He then asked them, if they can really predict the future, how about him.

Lesser than Macbeth and greater.

Not so happy, yet much happier.

Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.

Macbeth was indeed confused by the three witches. He was already the thane of Glamis, inherited from his father, but news has not reached him that the thane of Cawdor has been executed so he could not believe the witches on how he can possibly be both the thane of Cawdor or even the king. However before he could ask more, the witches disappeared. At that moment, the king's messengers have reached and informed Macbeth that the thane of Cawdor has been sentenced to death for treason and the title has been given to him.

This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor.
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature?

This supernataural temptation maybe not a bad thing
but also don't look like good leh. Cannot say bad leh,
because I really got that promotion that they promised wor.
I really become thane of Cawdor leh.
Cannot also say it's a good thing leh,
because if good then why am I thinking of doing something bad,
so bad and horrifying that my hair also stand,
my heart also pound super hard in my chest.

If chance will have me king, why, chance may
crown me
Without my stir.

If I fated to be king har,
then maybe I don't need to do anything also can be king.

Back at the palace, the delighted king welcomed the two generals back. At the same time, he announced that Malcolm his eldest son will be the prince of Cumberland and heir to his throne. He then told Macbeth he would like to visit him at his castle for a celebration.

Meanwhile, Lady Macbeth has read the secret letter that Macbeth sent her, about his meeting with the witches and his promotion to the thane of Cawdor.

Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great,
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it.

But I worry you don't have the guts lor,
you drink too much milk of human kindness
to strike at first sight liao.
You want to be powerful,
and you also got ambition, but
you not mean enough leh.

Then a messenger that Macbeth sent arrived at the castle to inform Lady Macbeth that the king and Macbeth were on the way there for a night of celebration. And so, Lady Macbeth planned on murdering the king there and that night.

Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty.

Lai ah lai ah, spirits
that help people on murderous thoughts, make me a man,
and fill me up from head to toe with deadly cruelty ah!

However, Macbeth was hesitant in taking the king's life. Duncan was not only a humble king who was free of corruption but has also rewarded him well. He told Lady Macbeth about the change of plan, but was chided by her instead. In fact, she has already planned to drink Duncan's servants drunk so that they could sneak in and kill Duncan, then put the blame on the servants.

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