Macbeth's Spectacle

Macbeth's Spectacle

A Story by 50centdolly
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So, this one, I recently did for school. I had to pick a scene from Macbeth and re-write it in to a narrative. I chose Macbeth's coronation banquet when he see's Banquo's ghost.

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Upon entering the main dining hall, I encounter a beautiful scene that lay before my eyes. The wall to my right is almost completely glass, sunlight decorating the room with glowing streamers. The rays fall directly on the long, dark oak table, bouncing off the elaborate silver dishes " their contents filling the room with a stomach rumbling aroma. The voices of a few early guests, who talk in small groups around the table, echo softly against the walls. The room is lined with large portraits of previous rulers; a string of their heraldic shields can be seen above them. The echoing voices mingle with the sweet melody of a piano, violin, cello, and flute being played in the far-left corner of the room

I enter with King Macbeth and a few lords to my right; Lady Macbeth and Ross to my left. Macbeth speaks to the lords.

“You know your own ranks, so you know where to sit. Sit down. From the highest to the lowest of you, I bid you a hearty welcome.”

The lords nod their heads and, with smiles, do as they were told quickly. A man enters the room and Macbeth pales slightly before striding over to him, leaving us standing where we are. The man and Macbeth converse in hushed voices for a few exchanges before the man leaves once more. Lady Macbeth saves us from standing awkwardly in our spot any longer.

“My royal lord, you’re not entertaining the guests! Come, let us eat and not stand here.” Then to us, “Please take a seat.” Lady Macbeth extends her hand to the three unclaimed seats. Ross and I bow our heads respectively before we sit down; Ross is to my left.

“Yes, of course, thank you for reminding me,” Macbeth smiles and begins to walk over to the table until he stops suddenly and pales another time " a mixture of expressions fight to lay claim on his face before disappointment wins.

“Why don’t you have a seat, your highness?” I inquire.

“If Banquo were here, we would have all the nobility of Scotland gathered under a single roof. I hope he is only late, not in trouble…” Macbeth trails off in thought.

Ross sighs harshly, annoyed at Macbeth’s disappointment, “His absence means he’s broken his promise, sir. If it pleases you, your highness, why don’t you sit with us and grace us with your royal company?” It takes Ross obvious effort not to sound rude. He rolls his eyes slightly when Macbeth continues.

“The table’s full.”

Confused by this remark, I motion to the empty seat next to me, “Here’s an empty seat, sir.”

“Where?”

I motion again, pointing, “Here, my good lord.” Concern crossing over my features, I ask, “Is everything alright?”

Macbeth suddenly gets angry; the sun hides behind a cloud at that moment, darkening the once bright room. The guests have picked up on the scenario and have gone silent. The musicians, oblivious to what is going on, continue playing " their song growing into a darker part of the melody. The room stills as the conversation pans out.

“Which one of you,” Macbeth forces through his teeth, “did this?”

The lords along the table develop confused expressions, mirroring my own, and murmur amongst themselves.

One of them speaks up, “What, my good lord?”

Seeming to not have heard the question, Macbeth continues to glare at the empty seat next to me, “You can’t say I did it. Don’t shake your bloody head at me.” Macbeth is practically yelling by the time he’s done. I start to get uncomfortable the longer he glares at the empty seat next to me. On my other side, Ross stands up, concerned about the king.

“Gentlemen, stand up. His highness is not well.”

Instantly, the whole of the table stands up. This earns us all a passive wave of the hand from Lady Macbeth.

“Please, sit down, worthy friends. My husband is often like this, and he has been since he was a child. Please stay seated. This will only be brief and he will be himself in a minute.” Despite her reassurances, doubt flashes across her face as she glances at the standing Macbeth before smiling warmly at her guests. I take my seat once more and, standing, Lady Macbeth speaks to her husband quietly, trying to get him out of his so-called fit. I don’t think that is what it is like she says. In fact, I don’t even know what is going on and, by the looks of it, no one else does either.

Macbeth raises his voice and points at the chair next to mine. Lady Macbeth eases his hand back down and I try to ignore their conversation and eat, but it proves difficult. After a few more minutes, Macbeth seems to have gotten over whatever it was and raises his wine glass.

“I drink to the happiness of everyone at the table, and to our dear friend, Banquo, whom we miss.”

The table, including myself, responds, “Hear, hear!” We simultaneously take a drink. Macbeth takes a lengthened drag from his filled cup " longer than usual for a toast.

 

I must have thought too soon that he was over his “fit” because, after he finishes his drink, he yells at the chair next to me " again.

“Go! And get out of my sight! Stay in your grave. There’s no marrow in your bones, and your blood is cold. You’re staring at me with eyes that have no power to see.”

Lady Macbeth pales harshly and smile apologetically at her guests, standing up.

“Good friends, think of this as nothing more than a strange habit. It’s nothing else. Too bad it’s spoiling our pleasure tonight.”

Macbeth speaks over her, “I am as brave as any other man. Come at me in the form of a rugged Russian bear, an armor-plated rhinoceros, or a tiger from Iran. Take any shape other than the one you have now and I will never tremble in fear. Or come back to life again and challenge me to a duel in some deserted place. If I tremble then, you can call me a little girl. Get out of here, you horrible ghost, you hallucination. Get out!” By this point, everyone at the table is standing silently. Even the musicians have stopped playing in shock of Macbeth’s outburst.

 

A moment passes before Macbeth smirks in triumph. He addresses the table, “I am man again. Pray you sit, still. Look, now that it’s gone, I’m man again. Please, remain seated.” No one moves.

“You have ruined our good cheer,” Lady Macbeth informs her husband grimly, “and disrupted the gathering by making a spectacle of yourself.”

Macbeth turns his attention to the guests again, “Can things like this happen so suddenly without making us all astonished? You make me feel like I don’t know myself, when I see you looking at these terrible things and keeping a straight face, while my face has gone white with fear.” His voice has a hint of insecurity and I feel pity for him, but I’m sure that’s the last thing he wants.

Ross asks a question that burns the minds of everyone present, “What things, my lord?”

Lady Macbeth replies quickly before Macbeth has a change to reply, “Please, don’t speak to him. He’s getting worse and worse. Talk makes him crazy. Everybody, please leave right now. Don’t bother exiting in order of rank, but just leave right away.”

Surprisingly, I find I can speak, “Good night. I hope the king recovers quickly.”

Lady Macbeth offers a weak smile. She says to me, “Thank you, Lennox.” Then to everyone who is leaving their chairs, “A kind good night to all!”

 

We exit and, once we are out of the castle, everyone talks about the event that had happened. I hear a few repeated phrases amongst the different groups of people, “What kind of habit is that?” or, “He must be crazy! There’s no other explanation!” and, “That’s our king?” among others. I don’t linger to talk, but instead, walk back to my quarters in silence, turning everything over in my mind. Something’s not right, and it will come out soon enough. Whatever they are hiding will catch up to them. In the meantime, I need to be patient for a proper explanation.


© 2017 50centdolly



Author's Note

50centdolly
Okay, so I've always had a hard time integrating dialogue. Reviews would be greatly appreciated - especially on how I integrated my dialogue. It would help me later in school. It's been the only part of narrative writing that I have had trouble understanding. =] [Also, most dialogue came from Sparknotes' No Fear: Macbeth. It's the translated dialogue. Thought I would source it. Number one rule in writing, source everything. ;) ]

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Added on July 13, 2017
Last Updated on July 13, 2017