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The Patron Saint of Superheroes

Chris Gavaler Explores the Multiverse of Comics, Pop Culture, and Politics

Guest Blogger, Madeleine Gavaler

“So thanks to all at once and to each one whom we invite to see us crowned at Scone,” said the under-characterized Malcolm with a flourish. Lady Macbeth rolled her eyes from behind her tree branch, as the men around her reveled in their masculinity and C-sections.

“I know it seemed like Shakespeare put me back in my properly gendered place,” she soliloquized quietly, with a surprisingly meta understanding of her unjust treatment, “but, as my more intelligent audience members guessed, I faked my guilt and insanity and suicide once I realized that my husband could not handle murder and power in moderation.”

Picking at the spots of blood still caked on her hands (that had not even been acting, women who orchestrate murders always have blood under their fingernails), she pondered possible careers and names. “Shall I go with Hillary, or will that perpetuate the misogynistic notion that all competent, powerful women are bitches?” she wondered. “This is eleventh century Scotland, but I’m definitely a Democrat. I know evil is not typically part of the party platform, but I do support gay marriage and cutting military spending. Down with the patriarchy!” she said. Lady Macbeth is also pro-choice.

Malcolm’s ears perked up having heard mention of feminism from behind an unsuspiciously womanly shaped tree branch. Lady Macbeth frowned, realizing that now and a millennium from now, you have to be quiet about gender equality or men will get offended. She also wondered if her voice was beginning to blend with the writer’s, who incidentally just started reading an autobiography of Hillary Clinton. “Unsex me here! Screw your courage to the sticking place!” Lady Macbeth whispered to stay in character.

She was still standing in the middle of a battlefield, and a particularly sparse and boring one because Shakespeare writes minimal stage directions. “Can I stand here being self-aware and voicing Madeleine’s political beliefs, or is there more to me? Do I have the potential for a meaningful plot arc, or am I limited by the abilities of a high school student who has not attempted creative writing of any sort since middle school, probably for good reason?” she asked, regaining control of the narrative. “Why do I ask so many questions?”

Lady Macbeth considered bringing her incompetently evil husband back, but then remembered that his severed head appeared on stage and could not think of a way around that one. Also, she does not need a man to complete her. “Are there any other tolerable characters in this play?”

The three witches appeared on the field which was slowly becoming more detailed and grassy and did a musical number like the one in Act IV that most don’t find as bizarre as they should. Concluding with a pas de bourree, they looked expectantly at Lady Macbeth, who after a ten day hiatus had forgotten if there was a plan for the rest of this story and was also feeling rather upset because she had just finished illegally binge-watching her favorite show about pies and murder and Lee Pace. Lady Macbeth also hopes Agent Carter gets renewed, because she understands how hard it is for women who accomplish just about everything in the male-dominated workplace without any credit.

“Double double toil and trouble, please stop daydreaming about hot British women,” said the weird sisters, whose favorite show is Dollhouse, in unison. They had given up on trochaic tetrameter because it is hard. The first witch, whose name is Maurice, realized that she had hurt Lady Macbeth’s feelings. It had been a very long day for her, and she was tired of bearded women putting other women down.

“No more slut shaming!” said Lady Macbeth, which wasn’t exactly relevant but always a phrase worthy of sharing. “My sweet malevolent nursery rhyme-y ladies, I find your anti-Semitic recipe on page 357 of Prentice Hall’s Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes rather problematic, but otherwise I think you three have a lot of potential.”

Lady Macbeth, Maurice, Helen, and Bertha sat down together in a nearby tearoom to discuss their backstories. Maurice, who finds Earl Grey with a blueberry scone especially delightful, went first.

“Shakespeare initially portrayed me as a chestnut-stealer who cuts off sailors’ thumbs, but I wasn’t always this way,” she said, her mascara running. Maurice wore heavy makeup at first because she felt the need to overcompensate for her scraggly beard, which everyone relentlessly teased her about in middle school. Over time, however, she has found her makeup to be fun and empowering. Maurice puts loving herself first, of which Helen and Bertha are very supportive. Her tale is being paraphrased to omit all of the swearing, for Maurice has quite a mouth. Helen and Bertha find this quality of Maurice endearing. The weird sisters love each other very much and enjoy the bonding experiences of dance numbers, life-ruining, and lesbian witchcraft.

“What about you, Lady Macbeth?” asked Bertha. Her beard was a beautiful auburn that brought out her eyes. “What made you commit murder?’

Sipping her English Breakfast with a dash of cream and no sugar, Lady Macbeth pondered how to answer. To her surprise, she did not want these conniving witches to think poorly of her murdering instincts. “You see,” she said, and hesitated. Was Lady Macbeth finally ready to reveal her mysterious character motivation? She continued to hesitate. The weird sisters looked at her expectantly. Lady Macbeth took a deep breath. Lady Macbeth exhaled and inhaled and exhaled and inhaled. Lady Macbeth cleared her throat. She paused again for dramatic effect.

“It was a means to an end. I knew that if I could murder Duncan and become queen, I could operate through my useless, weak husband to establish peace and prosperity in Scotland.” Lady Macbeth had planned to establish a democratic republic with healthcare and an abundance of welfare programs for its citizens, complete with a balanced budget and no drones.

The bearded women giggled. “Yes of course, silly,” said Helen. “That’s the whole reason we told Macbeth about his future; it was our plan to help you towards your perfect, happy, matriarchal society.”

“Unfortunately,” sighed Helen, “the men ruined our hopes and dreams.”

“Not all men,” whispered an earthworm outside that would later be reincarnated into William Shakespeare. A neighboring earthworm explained to Shakespeare the core ideals of feminism and how he might even accidentally be perpetuating misogynistic values and social norms in his daily actions.

“Well,” said Lady Macbeth, “I’m thankful for this opportunity to finally voice my side of the story through a critique of political and gender values in America. I hope we achieve peace in the Middle East soon and someday create the wonderful society that I tried to.” Lady Macbeth and the three witches laughed at the absurdity and disappeared into their spaceship to look for a less morally corrupt society, in a manner reminiscent of the excellent movie Hamlet 2, starring Steve Coogan.

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