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Daniel Craig’s ‘Macbeth’ Succeeds by Embracing the Scottish King’s True Himbo Nature

Daniel Craig at the premiere of Macbeth

I love William Shakespeare’s Macbeth because it is, at its core, about a himbo man who is easily convinced to do horrific things by his hot wife, and I love them both for it. Thankfully, that is very much the energy of the Sam Gold production on Broadway starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga.

The joy of this story comes from just how absolutely ridiculous Macbeth himself is. Is it weird to consider him a himbo? I am sure some scholars would absolutely hate me for it. But I speak as a himbo scholar, and he’s a prime example. According to the official definition of a himbo, one is classified as “an attractive but unintelligent man.” So when you break down Macbeth as a character, that’s pretty much him.

He’s the kind of character who doesn’t know how to function without the guidance of his wife, and Craig’s take on him features him barely knowing what to do and also cracking open a beer in the middle of telling Lady Macbeth that he brought the daggers with him instead of setting up the murder like he was supposed to.

A story of murder

What I loved so much about the Gold production of Macbeth was how bloody it was, too. When Macbeth kills Duncan, there’s blood all over his hands and clothes, while many productions I’ve seen have staged it without the use of stage blood. And I didn’t realize how much I wanted just a bloody and gory version of this story until watching this on stage.

Both Craig and Negga embrace the blood that comes with telling the story of the Macbeths, and they’re as in love with and attracted to each other as they should be, but Lady Macbeth is clearly the brains of the operation, and this production doesn’t hide that or make Macbeth into something he’s not. He’s wooed by his wife and her dreams of power, and he follows in her path like a little puppy.

Sam Gold’s Macbeth tends to be funny, too, which is rare in a production of this show. Most everything I’ve seen from it (in terms of adaptations) has made this show aggressively serious, and the latest take on Broadway is that actually this show is funny. Macbeth thinks he’s invincible because he cannot be killed by anyone of woman born, just straight up forgetting that c-sections exist.

He’s brash, messy in his fighting, and not the brains behind their plan, and I love that Daniel Craig plays that in his every move. Macbeth doesn’t feel like he’s in charge at any point; it’s always Lady Macbeth, and that’s why I love this show as much as I do.

I think Sam Gold brought a Macbeth to Broadway that will challenge the way we view this show, and I hope it spurs other adaptations of it that aren’t as serious about how Macbeth, as a character, is. Come for the blood and gore and stay for the Himbo Macbeth who doesn’t know what he’s doing but does it anyway because his wife tells him to.

(image: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.