How to grab an audience by its ears

William Shakespeare… what a genius… anyone who says he didn’t write his plays and poetry, that someone else was the author,  had obviously misunderstood the fact that he was an actual genius…a special person, different from the rest of us.

Have a look at this scene from Macbeth… it is just early on and introduces us to the character of Macbeth before we meet him, and I think this description of him and Banquo from a professional soldier is really significant in the way we understand him… oh and it is beautifully written… his words take flight as an eagle does compared to the sparrows the sergeant mentions:

Malcolm:

This is the sergeant
Who like a good and hardy soldier fought
‘Gainst my captivity. Hail, brave friend!
Say to the king the knowledge of the broil
As thou didst leave it.

Sergeant:

Doubtful it stood;
As two spent swimmers, that do cling together
And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald–
Worthy to be a rebel, for to that
The multiplying villanies of nature
Do swarm upon him–from the western isles
Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied;
And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,
Show’d like a rebel’s whore: but all’s too weak:
For brave Macbeth–well he deserves that name–
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish’d steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
Like valour’s minion carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave;
Which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam’d him from the nave to the chaps,
And fix’d his head upon our battlements.

Duncan:

O valiant cousin! worthy gentleman!

Sergeant:

As whence the sun ‘gins his reflection
Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break,
So from that spring whence comfort seem’d to come
Discomfort swells. Mark, king of Scotland, mark:
No sooner justice had with valour arm’d
Compell’d these skipping kerns to trust their heels,
But the Norweyan lord surveying vantage,
With furbish’d arms and new supplies of men
Began a fresh assault.

Duncan:

Dismay’d not this
Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?

Sergeant:

Yes;
As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.
If I say sooth, I must report they were
As cannons overcharged with double cracks, so they
Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe:
Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,
Or memorise another Golgotha,
I cannot tell.

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