BTT #59.2: So you think you are better than Lady Macbeth?

This is a rerun, first posted in 2019. The pandemic is a killer, and has been so exhausting, but we might need a reminder that the damage we inflict on each other may be the more insoluble problem.


Lady Macbeth Cottilard
Image is from poster of the 2015 Movie directed by Jason Kurzel, with Marion Cotillard and Jason Fassbender.  My humble opinion is that this is the best version of Macbeth I have ever seen on screen.  Y’all need to go buy it. It lost 4 million dollars according to Wikipedia, which is a crying shame because it is wicked awesome.   ok… now back to the poetry.

So you think you are better than Lady Macbeth?


By Lona Gynt, June 2019.


Water is insufficient solvent for the stain,

My own hands seem clean enough so

I can smugly wonder,

At how the Scottish Queen

At least had decency

Enough to go insane.

While good people

Of the world just

Hire out the killing

Carefully lined in

Rows and columns

Squaring out the singing

Of some sacred tribal strain,

Not even knowing they

Are blinded by blood

That flows right past

Into roiling waves

Shed in constant weeping

By fallen soldier’s kin.

So still it goes.

Don’t get me wrong

I don’t blame Any One, this is

Larger than a scruff upon

The heath, or the careful

Dissection of a

Reputation, it even

Swallows all the toils

And troubles and the

Weird sisters of fate even

Cast themselves

Into the Rendering


“All Hail Macbeth, or All Hail Sally

Or Billy, thou shalt be soup



We are all a part

Of this.

We count and figure

And plan and preach

And sleep and rest,

But I think it hard to know

If we can dream

Rising in the morning

As we do

To smile and press,

And quite decently,

It seems,

Close our eyes

And kill again.


Lona Gynt, June 2019. All Rights reserved.

This poem is also available in the publication listed below 

January 2020:

Three poems accepted to the annual anthology for 2019 Out Loud HSV 

Out Loud 2019 cover

“Walking the Dog on the Fairway at 9 pm”

“So you think you are better than Lady Macbeth”

“Come Soft Snows”

Available  at this site:


Lady Macbeth Recited at Out Loud Huntsville, Open Mic Night 10-27-19.

delete soon

Lady Macbeth Recited at Out Loud Huntsville, Open Mic Night 10-27-19.


Lady Macbeth Cottilard

11 thoughts on “BTT #59.2: So you think you are better than Lady Macbeth?

  1. Who could go past Macbeth? 🙂 I so love how you bring us to awareness that we are all in this, also – that water is insufficient to remove the stain. Only deep inner work will resolve into positive action.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Therisa Godwaldt

    Lona, would it be fair, to compare the current US president, with the Scottish Queen? Or, would the mad English King George III, be a better fit? Either one, would be acceptable, in description Trump.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Therisa! 🙂 That is an interesting question, I do not think that Trump is very Comparable to Lady Macbeth, LM went crazy it seems to me because her conscience would not let her go, Trump seems to suffer from no such affliction. King George III sufferred from poryphyria (it appears) and cannot really be blamed for the excesses and bizzare behaviors that happened during those flares. Also George III had a history of other accomplishments as a reasonable and competent monarch when he was well (my bias as an American raised on the Declaration of Independence notwithstanding), that tempers our judgments as to his place in history. It I were to compare Trump to anyone, it would be to Goering/Goebels/Hitler, dependent on cronies for power, takes advantage of the the baser instincts of his constituency, denies basic data about reality in order to prop up there view, willing to break laws to hang on to power (or at least encourage others to break laws). Just thank God that Trump has not been as competent in his authoritarianism as the Nazi’s, and I worry that the precedents he set will be exploited by a smarter dictator later. The larger point of my poem is the sadness that I feel that so much of our comforts and safety and structures are dependent on violence and war in order to be sustainable, and that the “good people” of the world, myself included, delude themselves if they think they are not in some ways culpable, in how we vote, in how our taxes our used, or ,ore pointedly, in how our rhetoric divides and separates us from others/enemies etc when in reality we are all humans that do best when we try to engage and work with each other as humans rather than as adversaries. . Blood is not just on the queens hands, the world is awash in it, but I am so very grateful for those who try to influence through kindness and reason and mutual endeavor. On the other hand, without strong defense, we would all become subject to those who would take advantage. Your question made me ponder, thank you friend!


  3. As you say, the killing, the unnatural act of it, drove Lady Macbeth mad. She was saddled with a weak husband and tried to take on the burden of his ambition. She did the wrong thing, but she knew it and couldn’t live with herself afterwards. Macbeth didn’t feel any qualms, nor, it has to be said, did the eventual victor, Macduff. Shakespeare shows how villain and hero are not necessarily where we might expect to find them. You can do wrong and redeem yourself, and you can do ‘right’ and still be an unfeeling brute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, Macbeth learned to kill by killing first fo God and country and tribe and ken. In the first place, it was all hail, what a great guy. When in fact killing for the ambition of the group was not any better than killing for personal ambition. I do think you need to be able to protect yourself, I am not all anti-defense, but the lines blur all too readily when defense imperatives shift to overt aggression. We are all involved.


      1. There are lost of border conflicts going on all over the world where it’s a case of aggression/defence, but most of the wars the US and Europe have been involved in are outright defence of ‘interests’ ie we don’t like what you’re doing at an economic level’. That to my mind is not an adequate excuse for sending in troops.
        Macbeth, I think was the typical general fighting the war for a useless king and deciding in all fairness, he ought to be the king himself. Medieval Scotland wasn’t much concerned about fighting for God, too enmired in internecine clan conflicts and petty ambitions. Not much has changed really.

        Liked by 1 person

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