54 great opening lines: 29

When shall we three meet again,
In thunder, lightning or in rain?

Macbeth, Shakespeare

*****

I studied this play twice in high school (two different schools) and never understood the political side.  Only the witch rhymes stayed with me;  my friend and I often cited them at relevant moments, especially when cooking:
Double, double, toil and trouble:  Fire, burn;  and cauldron, bubble.

In recent years I’ve tutored students who were writing about Macbeth, and so… I forced myself to read it to the point of understanding.

Right now I’m translating a French fairy tale in which the words chats and chaudière evoke my Macbeth textbook cover with its etching of three hags on a bleak plain waiting for the cauldron to boil.  But while in Shakespeare’s cauldron there boils the fillet of a fenny snake, in the French fairy tale cauldron there is nought but milk.  For the cats.

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