Superstitions About Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Business professional Andrew Scoblionko has leveraged his skills as an operations manager to head educational institutions such as DeVry University and Southwest Florida College. Alongside his career, Andrew Scoblionko enjoys attending the theatre and he considers Macbeth his favorite play.

One of Shakespeare’s most well known plays, Macbeth also carries with it a long tradition of theatrical superstition. No one knows for certain how this superstition originated, but many actors continue to avoid speaking the word “Macbeth” within the bounds of a theatre for fear that bad luck may ensue. Instead they refer to it as the Scottish Play, or sometimes the Bard’s Play.

Many theories exist concerning the origin of the superstition. Some suggest the involvement of witchcraft, either in that witches laid a curse upon productions of the play or that Shakespeare did himself. Others say it derives from the dangerous sword-play within the production itself. A less fantastic, and possibly more likely, explanation arises from the historic practice of failing theatres using Macbeth in an attempt to regain success.

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