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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: March ::
Re: "a naked new-born babe"
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 134.  Friday, 5 March 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Christoppher Johnston <
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        Date:   Friday, 5 Mar 93 1:42:48 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0126  Q: "a naked new-born babe"
 
(2)     From:   Roy Flanngan <FLANNAGA@OUACCVMB>
        Date:   Friday, 5 March 93, 06:11:33 EST
        Subj:   [Re: "a naked new-born babe"]
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christoppher Johnston <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 5 Mar 93 1:42:48 EST
Subject: 4.0126  Q: "a naked new-born babe"
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0126  Q: "a naked new-born babe"
 
I'm not familiar with the various glosses of this, but it seems to be an
allusion to Judgement Day, a cherub blowing a trumpet riding a
horse of air, the same image being repeated in the newborn riding the blast
and the cherubim riding the wind-coursers.  In the Judgement, Duncan's virtues
will "plead like angels."
     There is also the emphasis on horse-riding, picked up by Macbeth's
"vaulting ambition" and the spur to prick his intent.  An apocalyptic
horse foreshadowing his perdition?
 
Todd Johnston
ccs.carleton.ca
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roy Flanngan <FLANNAGA@OUACCVMB>
Date:           Friday, 5 March 93, 06:11:33 EST
Subject:        [Re: "a naked new-born babe"]
 
Subject: sightless couriers and cherubim
 
"Sightless" could mean either "unseeable," hence invisible, or "without
the abilitity to see."  Probably in this case the couriers *are* the
winds, and it is we who cannot perceive them.  Compare the Attendant Spirit's
"I must be viewless now" in Milton's {Comus} 92.
 
Cherubim (the plural form of the noun meaning an order of angels) were often
painted as infants with wings, putti, despite the objections of some
thologians who wanted angels, if pictured at all, to appear ageless.
The word "cherub" could be applied to a young child, even by 1700.
 
Roy Flannagan
 

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