2005-02-04

Intolerance: Parliament May Debate King's Villainous Image

Mr. William Shakespeare unfairly portrayed Macbeth as an unsuccessful king in the play of that name -- according to 'The Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party' MSP Mr.Alex Johnstone -- who has tabled a motion on the 1_000th anniversary of Macbeth's birth.
Macbeth was king of Scotland from 1040 CE to 1057 CE.
The motion 'regrets that Macbeth is misportrayed when he was a successful Scottish king'. The attempt by Mr.Johnstone [tel: (0131) 348 5649, or Email: Alexander.Johnstone.msp@scottish.parliament.uk] to overturn Macbeth's image as a murderous villain is being supported by 19 other MSPs from the likes of 'The Scottish Nationalist party' and 'The Scottish Green party'. The motion states:
'Marking this 1_000th anniversary would both boost understanding of this historic period and increase awareness, especially among tourists, of locations such as Lumphanan that have ties with Macbeth'.
Mr.Johnstone suggested that Mr.William Shakespeare, a playwright born in 1564 CE in England & Wales, was 'less than charitable' with his depiction of the king who died in battle in 1057 CE. The MSP said:
Alex Johnstone msp 'I was contacted by an "American" professor who has visited north east Scotland and some of the sites associated with Macbeth. 'He took the view that Macbeth was a good king, that he served Scotland well, and "brought the country together". 'Macbeth was so successful that (unusually for that period) he was able to "up sticks" and visit Rome -- and not have the country "fall to bits" in his absence'.
Ex-farmer, Mr.Johnstone, the regional MSP for North East Scotland, and 'The Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party's' Rural Development & Environment Spokesman said he hoped to debate 'the issue' in 'The Scottish Parliament'.
'It might be fitting if we used this to build up interest in tourism in that part of Scotland and counter some of the difficulties Scottish tourism has had', he said. 'The Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party' 'has been the victim of revisionists in the past and we will try and revise the Macbeth story'.
Mr.Shakespeare's play is often referred to as 'the Scottish play' (due to a superstition among actors that forbids saying 'Macbeth' aloud) -- and is reckoned to have been first performed in 1606 for King James-6 (a.k.a. King James-1 of England & Wales). The writer's portrait of a great tragic hero -- whose fate was linked to black magic and fuelled by the fire of greed and ambition -- bears little resemblance to the historical figure. Macbeth, King of Moray, was elected King of Scotland in place of Duncan's son Malcolm, who was only a child, and for 14 years Macbeth is believed to have ruled equably, imposing law and order and encouraging devout Roman Christianity. 'Macbeth gets politicians' backing', BBC NEWS, 2005/02/03 10:39:55 GMT Previously on This Blog... Stats: Lack of Scottish History Taught in School 2005-02

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