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Sculpture of Macbeth by Greg Wyatt

Dr Paul Edmondson and Professor Sir Stanley Wells discuss sculptures of Shakespeare's plays with the sculptor, Greg Wyatt. This sculpture depicts Macbeth.


Wells: I think, as with all these sculptures, you get a very different impression from different angles on which you see them don’t you? I mean if you see it from that side, the focal point is Lady Macbeth, isn’t it? But you also have the complementary figures of the witches here. It is very much, as a play, is a multidimensional experience you get from it.

Edmondson: The Weird Sisters all intertwined with it as if they’re somehow controlling all of the action, which in a sense they are, and I think the extraordinary pacing forth of this sculpture, as it were, going that way reminds me of Macbeth imagining the figure of murder just before he goes into kill King Duncan.

Wyatt: You have the enlarged feet in the image on the reverse side. It’s an intention to move the sculpture, to move the reader forward into the world of murder.

Edmondson: “I am in blood stepped in so far, should I wade no more returning or as tedious of go o’er”. In the thick of it, the heavy bloodiness of this play is what plagues Macbeth so much.

Wyatt: This is the anger of him (of Macbeth), the meanness, the distortion.

Edmondson: Oh there’s another head falling here.

Wells: Yes.

Edmondson: Can you see an upside down head?

Wells: Yes, upside down, yes it looks fierce.

Edmondson: I hadn’t realised that, so there’s another dead body falling out from this side of the sculpture.

Wyatt: I’ve lost count on how many murders there are in the play.

Wells: [Laughs] Yes.

Wyatt: But there are many.

Edmondson: I love it when Macbeth says when he sees Banquo’s ghost, “Thou canst not say I did it, never shake thy gory locks at me”. We’ve got a sense of the gory locks here, haven’t we, in this victim. I can see a wonderful hand here, as well, and hands are very important in Macbeth, aren’t they?

Edmonson and Wells: “What hands are here, they pluck out mine eyes.”

Edmonson: “My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white” and “Wash this blood clean from my hands”, says Macbeth.

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