Verdi, men, women, and Macbeth. London Music psychology writer Sandrine Anterrion


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wpid-tumblr_mwk9rb312d1qzge04o1_1280.pngVerdi’s macBeth, men and feminism…

Is it just me, or are the male protagonists in Verdi’s opera Macbeth somewhat castrated beyond the witches efforts to castrate them?…

I believe Verdi somehow portrays their paces and expressions as lame, caricatural and over-pompous…

Their musical paths (more often than never) seem doomed to a negative denouement, or to self-destruction.

I have written a small essay on feminism in the same opera, as championed by the witches characters.

I am tempted however to note that the men are portrayed as lazy thinkers, beneficiaries of a hugely superficial leadership inheritance.

It is the social character of male domination in most modern societies, and I am persuaded that the composer wished to portray this inequity.

Take for instance the ‘Giorno non vidi mai…” entrance (Act 1), and Banquo/ MacBeth’s prancing royalty steps. Those are heavy with superficiality, which soon turns out to be foolishness upon meeting the witches. This self-confidence crumbles, and the aria in MacBeth trembling with fear.

The men’s abundant energy often seem to result in self-destruction, or the destruction of others.

Hence, is it because of the witches’ influence and inspirations?… Or is it somewhat linked to the very essence of masculinity, as perceived in society?…

I believe that Verdi, my precious Verdi, is trying to demonstrate the latter. Now what does that say about his personality?…

Apart from the fact that, as a true visionary, he will envisage every character’s mindset, every protagonist’s history… Stephen King, after all, elaborates the emotional background and life story of a dog, in Cujo. Kathy Bates retraces every murderous persona’s sensitivity, humanity, and vulnerability. Why wouldn’t Verdi research the feelings and experiences of a female?… A great mind will use his or her curiosity to analyse and create, in that uniquely brilliant manner.

Peace to all men and women of the World.

Just examining what I love and admire most about a mind such as Giuseppe Verdi’s: the ability to do somersaults, without ever falling short of excellence. Ever.

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