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Shakespeare’s Test of Time


Opinion

Producer Marykate Monaghan on turning Oscar Pistorius into Shakespearean Tragedy

Image of Shakespeare’s Test of Time

 “We are time’s subjects, and time bids begone.” – Henry IV, Part 2, Act One, Scene 3

William Shakespeare was born a near 453 years ago, and only last year we celebrated the 400th anniversary of his death. This rather morbid start to our blog post means to highlight the ever-flowing genius of a man who captured the aspects of human nature so perfectly that it plays central to the play we have written, directed and produced to appear at the Edinburgh Fringe in the year 2017.

The relevance of the words and actions embedded into the notorious characters of Hamlet, Macbeth and Othello are screamed out by Pistorius in his monologues and throughout this production, revealing truths of both the characters and audiences.

The clear parallels of Macbeth’s strive for fame and success, Othello’s jealous lust to kill and Hamlet’s ever looming loss of a father figure are retold in the form of Pistorius, whose tragic fall erupts into one of the biggest scandals to engross the world. This is then intensified by the re-imagining of Macbeth’s three witches as discomforting talk show hosts, placing the near-farcical fascination of the media under Shakespeare’s glaring spotlight.

Similarly, Shakespeare’s desire to give a voice to strong females continues in our character of Eunice, Pistorius’ cousin. Gifted with the same determination as Juliet to think differently from her family and the courage of Rosalind to ask uncomfortable questions, the character’s development parallels that of Countess Olivia in Twelfth Night, retelling Shakespeare’s desire to outline the opportunity for women to abandon the beliefs inbuilt by their families to rather think free and embrace opposing thoughts.

Both Shakespeare’s genius, and our undying passion for it, thus batters on into the modern world. And from the words of Henry IV Part Two from the character Hastings with which this post began, we find the perfect image through we can see the scandal of Pistorius in its “Shakespearean proportions“. And it’s been an absolute pleasure to put together and bring to the Fringe!

Pistorius: A Shakespearean Tragedy is @ Greenside @ Infirmary Street from Mon 14 – Sat 26 Aug 2017


Marykate Monaghan is a University of St Andrews student, studying International Relations. She is currently producing Pistorius: A Shakespearean Tragedy and her own student radio show, Rah Rah Politics.

Comments

One Response to Shakespeare’s Test of Time

  1. Rachel Atkin says:

    I saw this production in St. Andrews last year.Very clever writing,a real pleasure to watch.

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