THE STORY SO FAR: King Duncan decided to spend the night at the castle of Macbeth and his wife, the conveniently-named Lady Macbeth. This turned out to be a bad idea, as they have just murdered him in his sleep in order to fulfill a prophecy that Macbeth will become king. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy, apparently.
Got all that?
Good. Time for some comic relief! Let's meet the porter.
This weird interlude serves two main purposes. Firstly, it allows the actors playing Macbeth and Lady Macbeth time to wash the blood off their hands from the last scene and change into fresh costumes. Secondly, it provides the only real comic relief in the play.
Let me break it down further for you. The first part of this, the porter's monologue, involves a series of satirical jokes referencing various contemporary social and political topics (Catholic recusants! The doctrine of mental reservation! The Gunpowder Plot!) that, thanks to the passage of over 400 years, are now mostly incomprehensible and unfunny.
The second part of this is just a series of jokes about drunk guys not being able to get it up. CULTURE!
Dramatis Personae | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30
PS - Remember to get those Crispin's Day videos to me this week, by Friday! The sooner the better, as it gives me more time to edit and organize everything. E-mail them to goodticklebrain AT gmail DOT com. Thanks!