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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: March ::
R: "a naked new-born babe"
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 142.  Saturday, 6 March 1993.
 
From:           Christoppher Johnston <
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Date:           Saturday, 6 Mar 93 13:12:19 EST
Subject: 4.0137  More Rs: "a naked new-born babe"
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0137  More Rs: "a naked new-born babe"
 
The idea of the newborn babe in connection with Duncans's murder is
further intriguing if we look at Lady Macbeth's words to her husband which
follow upon this:
                        I have given suck, and know
                How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
                I would, while it was smiling in my face,
                Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums,
                And dashed his brains out, had I so sworn as you
                Have done to this.
 
She is trying to prick his courage, but it almost seems a response to
Macbeth's comment of the newborn babe (before she entered): Duncan becomes
the babe that she would kill if she had so sworn, coalescing perhaps with
Macbeth's previous metaphor.
 
(Lady Macbeth's lines, if I remember correctly from K. Muir's "Sources..",
have echoes of a translation of Medea).
 
Todd Johnston
ccs.carleton.ca
 

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