It seems I misjudged Macblugo after his less-than-stimulating "Is this a joke?" response when the plods knocked on his door a few weeks past. It seems that the Thane of Ravenswood, when given time to reflect and the help of a few advisors, is quite a devotee of literature, and might indeed rival the original Macbeth in his poetic response to strife. Critics will argue that his choices are all of the rather obvious high-school curriculum; even a cultural cesspit like me was familiar with some of them. Incidentally, who are all these advisors that still cling to their disgraced leader? At the end Macbeth had only the loyal, and thoroughly wicked, Seaton. Macblugo has an army of lawyers. Who pays for them I wonder?
Although the image of the overly-ambitious, grasping Patti saltily urging her husband on in the background, invites comparison with "That Scottish Play," which, incidentally, by some stroke of synchronicity, has just opened in a very contemporary, R-rated version in Chicago, I think Richard III, represents a more apt Shakespearean parallel to our venal governor. For while Macbeth did bad things, he was not fundamentally a bad or dishonest person. His fault was the possession of ambition and, once having given into its temptation, he succumbed in trying to contain the train of consequences. Half way across the river of blood... If we looked closely in the mirror, we would find a little Macbeth in all of us.
He was basically honest and decent. While he could smite foes on the battlefield with aplomb, he made a complete dog's breakfast of doing in Duncan: the whole business with the dancing dagger and the hands covered in blood. His conscience could not deal with his victims. While Macbeth could not gaze upon the ghost of Banquo, one could not imagine Blugo imploring Judy Baar-Topinka (his victim in the last election who was brought down by dirty money) not to shake her hennaed locks at him. For Blugo has no conscience. Like Richard III, he is completely comfortable in scheming, lying, seducing and gaming his way to the top. Having used someone, he has no shame in dumping them. Ask Richard Mell. In the first act, Richard III seduces the wife of the person he has just murdered. Blugo's parading various cripples at one of his poetry slams reminded me of a later scene in which Richard III appears before the public with a holy man to convince them of his virtue. R III is a far more dastardly character than Macbeth. While the former had, according to Shakespearean legend, a deformed shoulder, Blugo has the hair helmet.