From Head Conspirator to Wimp
The story of Macbeth by Shakespeare is one of his most read and most loved plays. It was not unlikely that out of all of his plays that Macbeth would be one of the few successful plays that would be turned into an opera. Verdi wrote the opera with librettists Francesco Maria Piave and Andrea Maffei. The opera was written around 1846 and premiered on March 14, 1847 at the Teatro dell Pergola in Florence, Italy. A few years later the Verdi revised the opera adding a ballet into it and taking out some things and was performed at the Teatre Lyrique in Paris on April 21, 1865. This opera in comparison to the play begins with the third scene of the play. Unlike some of Verdi and other composer 's other operas the dialogue of Macbeth closely follows Shakespeare 's dialogue throughout the entire opera. It has been said that the words throughout the opera are ore often than not a literal translation of Shakespeare 's work. All of this information is fine and gives us a general understanding of who wrote the opera and when, but what I want to focus on in this paper is the Prima Donna of the opera by Verdi: Lady Macbeth. Although she is an integral part to both the play also and since the opera is so closely related to the play, I will focus on the opera by Verdi. Through a character analysis, evidence on how Verdi saw his Lady Macbeth, and a discussion of her development through her arias, I will discuss how Lady Macbeth began as a woman thirsty to become Queen and ends as a woman that was willing to and did take her own life. One of the lines of the play the Lady Macbeth said was very interesting that gives you the character of Lady Macbeth in one statement and Verdi 's opera shows this. She says " look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under 't. (I. v. 67-68)" This is the thesis statement of Lady Macbeth 's life until the bitter end. Lady Macbeth is Macbeth 's wife, a deeply ambitious woman who lusts for
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