In my English class, we are currently studying one of William Shakespeare’s famous tragedies, Macbeth, also known by highly superstitious theatre enthusiasts as The Scottish Play. The reason why Macbeth is called The Scottish Play is because saying the actual name of the play is considered taboo. Since the dawn of The Scottish Play, there have been numerous accounts of unfortunate events that have been thought to have occurred in theatres that featured The Scottish Play because a cast member had uttered the play’s forbidden name. There have been stories of playhouses burning down, actors dying on set, and audience members dying because someone had said you know what.
Fortunately, if one mistakenly says the name of The Scottish Play, it is possible for one to reverse the horrible act before any damage is done. One way, stated by a television program called 10 Ways to Lift a Curse, to rid yourself of any bad luck caused by uttering the forbidden name is to run out of the theatre, spin three times, spit quickly on the ground, and say the worst swear word that you know. Another way, which is seen on the television show, Blackadder, to relieve any misfortune brought upon you by saying the name of The Scottish Play is to say, “Hot potato, orchestra stalls, puck will make amends.”
Personally, I don’t believe that saying “Macbeth” will bring any bad luck. I think that the unfortunate events that have occurred in theatres that play Macbeth were simply coincidences, which would have happened regardless of whether or not someone uttered, “Macbeth.” However, I must say that I am quite shocked by the huge number of unfortunate events that were thought to have happened because someone said, “Macbeth.” To learn about a few of the tragic events, or should I say, coincidences, watch the video by the Science Channel that I have shared above.
Below is a hilarious video of Blackadder harassing a pair of very superstitious men by uttering the name of The Scottish Play.
Floyd, John, prod. Blackadder. N.d. Youtube. Youtube, 4 Mar. 2008. Web. 14 June 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h–HR7PWfp0>.
Ten Ways – Curse of Macbeth. Prod. Science Channel. YouTube. YouTube, 23 Oct. 2008. Web. 14 June 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LKMktAN4hc>.