Not all villains are monstrous and not all monsters are villains, but there certainly is a great deal of overlap between these two worlds of evil characters.
I’m going to see Alan Cummings’s one-man Macbeth on Broadway (yes, he plays ALL the roles and it’s set in an asylum), so I’m rereading Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is one of the best characters of all time! She is both a tortured soul and the soul of unbridled ambition.
Lots of lessons to be learned from her ruthless, single-minded drive. But is she a monster? I’ve seen a few productions of the play, and movie versions too. Sometimes her outsized need is so gigantic that she comes across as an evil genius and other times she’s so out-of-control that she’s a werewolf with the full moon is rising. I’m looking forward to seeing how this great actor plays her — and her hubby too.
I’m also pondering what makes a villain a monster? Is it the size of the villainous ambitions? Is it the level of animal brutality? Is the monster in the blood lust of a vampire or the physical, animal power of the beast?
Who is YOUR favorite villain and is he or she a MONSTER?
As of right now, my favorite Macbeth was Patrick Stewart. I saw him on Broadway with Kate Fleetwood as his Lady. The setting had 20th century Stalinist overtones with super scary witches dressed as nurses. There’s a video of the production. I think I’ll see it after the Alan Cumming’s show.
“Men of Respect” with John Turturro as a Macbeth-like hit man in a crime family, and a fabulous cast including Stanley Tucci, Peter Boyle and Dennis Farina. I get chills thinking about the actress Katherine Borowitz scrubbing the bathtub in a frenzy of guilt and fear. “Out, out…”