Macbeth’s curse visits Westfield?

WESTFIELD – A book burned on Broad Street Friday may have been simply an accident, it may have been a protest against literary education at the vocational school or it might have been a paranormal expression of The Bard’s outrage at the diminution of his work.
Or, it might just be the latest manifestation of the centuries-old curse on the play.
Both police and firefighters responded Friday evening to a report of a book burning at the intersection of East Silver and Broad streets but found that rain had already extinguished a book which had been burning while leaning against a signpost.
Officer Sean Smith reports that the book was found to be a copy of ‘Macbeth Made Easy’ which had been borrowed from the Steven Pippin Memorial Library at Westfield Vocational-Technical High School.
For centuries, the play has been considered to be unlucky in theatrical circles and theatre professionals often decline to say the play’s name lest they invoke the bad luck associated with the ‘Scottish Play’, as it is usually called.
Historically, the bad luck which follows the play was often fires, a problem which plagued theatres in Shakespearean times no matter what play was being produced.
Although Smith has not reported that he has determined why the book was burned at least three possibilities come to mind.
William Shakespeare, at a heavenly celebration of his recent 450th birthday, may have been affronted by the suggestion that his classic work needed to be “made easy” and may have expressed his umbrage by calling down a celestial spark to incinerate the offending analysis of his work.
Maybe a vocational school pupil was unhappy that The Scottish Play is included in the 12th grade curriculum at the school and burned the book in protest.
Or maybe, just maybe, the curse which has kept actors from saying the name of ‘The Scottish Play’ for centuries is real and spontaneous combustion destroyed the book.
But, in the end it was Mother Nature who had the last word, sending rain to extinguish the fire and leaving the mystery to remain a mystery.

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