Hey guys, we’re back with part 2 of our Modern Macbeth: A Friends School Retelling. Like last time, I’ll be writing general plot points to convey the general feeling of the play. Unless this takes off with wild success, I won't be going into details so I am telling you beforehand that I may miss some things. However, I’ll try to include most things that we talked about in class. Anyway, last time we left off with Mrs. Berkeley plotting to kill Mrs. Binford. I’ll include the last paragraph from last time just to get ourselves familiar with what happened.
This has given Mrs. Berkeley time to think about the prediction that Mrs. Binford received. Despite all that has happened, Mrs. Berkeley is worried that Mrs. Binford’s students are going to revolt against her, so she concludes that Mrs. Binford simply has got to go. If she is gone, she cannot teach any more students and then I will be safe again. In order to carry out her sinister plan, Mrs. Berkeley hires Mrs. Porcella to kill Mrs. Binford.
(Break) Last time we covered a little backstory of why Mrs. Porcella wants to kill Mrs. Binford. If you need a little refresher just reread that section from last time. Anyway, back to the plot:
Shortly after Mrs. Berkeley sends Mrs. Porcella away with the task of murdering Mrs. Binford there is a ceremonial dinner hosted in honor of the new headmistress, Mrs. Berkeley. The divide between the English and Science side is still prominent, but both sides are present at the dinner out of respect. Before the start of the dinner, Mrs. Fetter talks to Mrs. Berkeley just to make sure she is ok. Mrs. Berkeley hints that something bad is going to happen with Mrs. Binford but doesn't elaborate. Mrs. Fetter really wants to know what was going on, but Mrs. Berkeley is distancing herself from Mrs Fetter and is slowly becoming more dominant (As seen in the play).
Both women set this slight turmoil aside and prepare for the dinner. Everyone from the English side is present however only a couple dedicated faculty from the science side showed up. About halfway through the dinner Mrs. Berkeley starts envisioning the slaughtered Mrs. Binford staring from the other head of the table directly at her. This is more than enough to startle Mrs. Berkeley who promptly stands up and backs away, screaming at the (seemingly) invisible apparition. After 5 minutes or so of this, the image is gone and Mrs. Berkeley apologizes for the sudden behavior and sits back down for the rest of the dinner.
During the frenzy Mrs. Fetter is trying to convince the faculty to stay, blaming Mrs. Berkeley’s current state on the pressures of becoming a headmistress for the first time. Most of the faculty stare dumbfoundedly at Mrs. Berkeley wondering what the heck was going on with her. After Mrs. Berkeley apologizes however, things return to their normal state and dinner is then continued. Some time later, Mrs. Berkeley sees Mrs. Binford once again and freaks out to the bewilderment of the faculty. This time though, Mrs. Fetter cannot convince the faculty to stay and urges them to leave.
After the faculty members leave, Mrs. Berkeley and Mrs. Fetter are alone in the dining hall and this is when Mrs. Berkeley decides to see those 3 prophetic lunch ladies again to see how she can secure her Headmistress position and be safe without someone trying to overthrow her. Mrs. Fetter bades Mrs. Berkeley good night, and both women retire to their respected households.
The next day during lunch time Mrs Berkeley seeks the 3 lunch ladies and demands to know more about her future so as to be assured that she is safe. The lunch ladies then tell Mrs. Berkeley 3 more predictions. “Beware Mrs. Jenkins”. Mrs. Berkeley is immediately wary and fearful of Mrs. Jenkins until the ladies tell her “No human that once was or will be can kill you”, and “You are safe until Gilman and Friends start working together.” Knowing that this was virtually impossible and that no human on the Earth could kill her Mrs. Beverley is pretty confident that she is set to be headmistress without any further trouble.
Shortly after those prophecies, Mrs. Berkeley learns from the faculty gossip that Mrs. Jenkins has fled Friends and her whereabouts are currently unknown. Knowing that Mrs. Jenkins was placed on probation and was forbidden from leaving Friends, Mrs. Berkeley is outraged by this blatant action and decides to exact some punishment on her family.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Hall (the new librarian) is at Mrs. Jenkins’ house trying to console Mr. Jenkins and Steedman, who are bewildered that Mrs. Jenkins would ever consider fleeing without telling them. Mrs. Hall tries to explain that it was not safe for Mrs. Jenkins to be there, but Mr. Jenkins thinks that Mrs. Jenkins is a traitor for abandoning them in the midst of a crisis at Friends. Unsuccessful in changing their minds, Mrs. Hall leaves the Jenkins’ house and goes on her way. Shortly after that, Mr. Jenkins asks Steedman to get the mail and Steedman agrees to. On his walk outside, the mailman mysteriously tells Steedman that he and his family are in imminent danger and that they need to leave ASAP. Steedman just disregards the message and does not tell Mr. Jenkins, thinking that it wasn’t important.
Shortly after that, Mrs. Porcella pays a visit to the Jenkins’ household and demands to know where Mrs. Jenkins is. Mr. Jenkins replies that he doesn’t know, and Mrs. Porcella then calls Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins both fools, and traitors. Steedman, who is listening in on the conversation, steps out and angrily tells Mrs. Porcella that she is a lying witch and tells her to get out. Vexed, Mrs. Porcella then kills Steedman in front of Mr. Jenkins and then proceeds to kill Mr. Jenkins himself.
(Break) Whooh, that was another doozy! I thought that I would finish it up in this post, but we still have some ways to go and this post is getting quite long, so I thought I would wrap it up for this time and continue it next time. Anyway, I hope you are enjoying it so far, and the next post will be the last post. Even if it is really long, we are finishing this project in the next post, so stay tuned for the next post to read the ending!