Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1992 :: December ::
Rs: *Macbeth* Question
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 360. Wednesday, 9 December 1992.
 
(1)     From:   Jay L Halio <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Dec 1992 13:47:53 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 3.0358 Macbeth Question
 
(2)     From:   Kay Stockholder <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Dec 92 15:54:26 PST
        Subj:   SHK 3.0358  Macbeth Question
 
(3)     From:   Mike Neuman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Dec 1992 15:19 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 3.0358  Macbeth Question
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jay L Halio <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Dec 1992 13:47:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 3.0358 Macbeth Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 3.0358 Macbeth Question
 
On Wed, 9 Dec 1992, Hardy M. Cook wrote:
 
>Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 358. Wednesday, 9 December 1992.
>
> From:           Doris Smith <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
> Date:           Tuesday, 8 Dec 1992 19:43:22 -0600 (CST)
> Subject:        Macbeth question
>
> [SHAKSPEReans,
>
> The following query was directed to me, but with the questioner's
> permission I post it for your collective responses.  --hmc]
>
>
> Hardy,
>
>  When I joined this list, I told you that I was no Shakespearean scholar,
> and I am about to prove it by this question.  Can you tell me if there is
> any significance to the frequent mention of time in _Macbeth_?  I have a
> teaching tape from Spectrum Educational Services (that name may not be
> 100% accurate) and the voice on the tape keeps saying ". . . another
> mention of time" without ever explaining the significance or even why he
> is pointing it out, and I must be on a different wave-length because I
> can't see what he evidently expects me to see.
>
>  Thanks for any insight you might be able to offer.
>
> doris smith (
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 )
 
Dear Hardy,
 
        Roy Walker has a whole book on the subject of time in *Macbeth.*
It is called, I believe, *The Time is Free* and came out about 40 years ago.
 
                                                Jay Halio
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kay Stockholder <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Dec 92 15:54:26 PST
Subject: Macbeth Question
Comment:        SHK 3.0358  Macbeth Question
 
One importance of time in Macbeth has to do with his state of mind. When he
first listens to the witches, he cancels out the rich significance of the
present by a fantasy of the future. Lady M. does likewise, in only slightly
different images. By the end of the play he has wiped out the significance of
all time, present, future and past, as his deeds have wiped out all aspects of
his connectedness to other people.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Neuman <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Dec 1992 15:19 EST
Subject: 3.0358  Macbeth Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 3.0358  Macbeth Question
 
Doris Smith asked about the significance of *time* in _Macbeth_.
 
Here's some evidence from the text.  WordCruncher's search of the
Riverside edition of the tragedies shows that *time* appears 45 times
in _Macbeth_ , second only to the 48 occurrences in _Hamlet_.  And
given the relative size of the textfiles, the occurrences of
*time* in _Macbeth_ constitute a textual phenomenon considerably more
striking.  In fact, statistically speaking, only in _Macbeth_  (and to
a lesser extent in _Hamlet_) does the word appear with more frequency
than a random distribution of the word would generate.  So
Shakespeare's up to something.
 
The following acts/scenes in _Macbeth_ contain 4 or more
occurrences: 1/7, 3/1, 3/4, 4/1, 4/3, 5/9.  So use this evidence to
check the validity of the following suggestion (which, of course, wasn't
generated by the computer but by a hasty recollection of the subject
as considered years ago).
 
Macbeth, upon this bank or shoal of time, attempts to usurp the
function of time (that is, what will happen in the fullness of time,
as predicted by the Witches).  In other words, he wants to succeed
Duncan sooner rather than later.  This thematic usurpation, like the
usurpation of the plot, is redressed when Macbeth is defeated.  Malcolm
then declares that *the time is free.*
 
Mike Neuman
Georgetown
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.