Wednesday, January 26, 2011

B is for Bat Wool
ABC Wednesdays 

(I'm going to try and pick up ABC Wednesdays again, since I lost my way on it last year.  I've missed 'A', but coming in on the second letter of the alphabet isn't too bad considering how this year is going so far!)

Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog

From Shakespeare's Macbeth, of course, though the better-known lines are

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

I first saw this performed on stage during a field trip with my high school Senior English class, in which we were of course studying the text at the time.  Having always been attracted to the creepy, the dark, and the scary, I LOVED this scene.  (I loved it so much, I believe it had a great deal to do with my ongoing love of Shakespeare.)  The lighting was dark and  the stage obscured by floating mist.  The Witches were scary in their rags and warts, and the huge cauldron was properly glowing with an eerie green light.  Delightful!

I obviously still have fond memories of the scene, despite the stereotypes perpetuated by it, and how offensive I find them since becoming a Witch myself.  (And it begs the question, do we judge literature by our own standards or by the standards of the time in which it was written?)

Anybody up for bat wool or dog's tongues? (I happen to have two of the last item just lying around!  ;>   )


Roger Owen Green said...

In answer to your question: botyh the time it was written AND today.


On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, wel­come, and thanks for par­tic­i­pating! — ROG

candygramme said...

I think it's really important to judge literature against the time in which it was written. I see that there's a move afoot to rewrite Mark Twain, which makes me rather sad. The book was written back when the N word was in use by Twain's contemporaries. Sure it's offensive, but then it's a record of its time. Changing history dooms people to go on making the same mistakes over and over.

CousinLinda said...

ROG--does that mean I should be both offended and not offended? :)

candygramme--I certainly don't agree with re-writing things for modern sensibilities! If nothing else, it violates the concept of free speech! I'm just never sure whether I should be offended or not!

CousinDon said...

Re-writing literature to account for modern sensibilities, really strikes me as an Orwellian solution to the whole thing. I feel those who think these works should be modernised suffer from an inability to understand the whole concept of historical context. Perhaps they should be limited to pop fiction only -- nothing more complicated than Twilight?

CousinLinda said...


Wanda said...

Well I sure enjoyed the comments to your post. Very lively discussion. I like that. Welcome back to ABC.

CousinLinda said...

Thanks, Wanda!