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Posted by: Weekly Dive   |   7/6/2016   |   Shakespeare's Macbeth + Typewriters

World War I era Corona 3.

For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name –

Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel,

Which smoked with bloody execution,

Like valor’s minion carvéd out his passage

Till he faced the slave –

Which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,

Till he unseamed him from the nave to th’ chops,

And fixed his head upon our battlements.

--Sergeant, I.ii.16–23

As you can tell from the raggedy, hole-punched typing, my Corona 3 is in pretty rough shape. But so are the soldiers fighting the battle the Sergeant describes, so this machine seemed a good match. In the play, the Sergeant’s full description of the battle is the audience’s introduction to Macbeth, who we haven’t seen yet on stage. Unfortunately, because it’s just some army guy talking (forever), the monologue can make for pretty dull theatre. But the information we get about Macbeth’s character—particularly in the snippet I highlight here—is a crucial insight into the play’s violence and the kind of man we’re about to meet. Part of my graduate work at Northwestern is using new media forms (like video games) to emphasize these aspects of the play that might not stand out to a contemporary audience.

 For info on the history of Corona typewriters, including this Corona 3, check out this link. 

Image credit: Elizabeth Hunter

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