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Let’s Play: Macbeth A3S6: Lennox talks ironically about Macbeth

In A3S6 of Macbeth, shortly after Banquo’s ghost appears at the dinner, and just before Macbeth meets the witches again where the apparitions make their predictions about Macbeth‘s future, there’s a quiet little scene between Lenox and a Scottish Lord.

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It’s purpose in the play, I guess, is to show how the Scottish lords are beginning to turn against Macbeth, and to prepare the audiennce for Malcolm coming North to overthrow Macbeth with an English army, and MacDuff and Ross.

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The interest in this scene, from a play-reading perspective is that many of Lenox’s lines are ironic, and quite a few players find irony difficult to deliver, so it’s a good test of whether you can be ironic. To help you find the ironic lines, here’s the first two bits that I think are ironic: ‘The gracious Duncan
Was pitied of Macbeth: – marry he was dead: -‘;  and ‘Whom, you may say (if’t please you) Fleance killed, / For Fleance fled. Men must not walk too late.’, but there are plenty more to find.

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The scene needs two players – one to play Lenox, and one to play Lord.  The thing to do is to have two of you together, each with your own web browser (lap top or tablet preferred), and for you to play the scene twice, or more than twice, until both players can do irony to their satisfaction. (Hint; when I’m trying to do irony, I try and say the ironic lines in inverted commas, and perhaps add a touch cynicism  to the words. Note that only some of Lenox’s phrases are ironic, so you should reserve irony for those phrases, to keep variety in your tone.

The links to the script, both in Highlight Text mode, are given  belwo:

So both of you choose whichever part you’re playing; play the scene; and then come back here and swap parts and play it again, both of you listening out for the irony, and, if your relationship is strong enough, critiquing each other.

After you’ve had a go at this scene, why don’t you have a go at the Porter’s scene which also needs two players:

Macbeth A2S3, The porter’s scene

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Let’s play!

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Richard Forsyth
‘The Director’
Players-Shakespeare.com

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