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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: March ::
Rs: Naked Babe; Banquo as Christ Figure
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 160.  Friday, 12 March 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Jean Peterson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 11 Mar 1993 16:59:15 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0131  More Rs: "a naked new-born babe"
 
(2)     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 11 Mar 1993 18:25:29 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0158  Q: Banquo as Christ Figure
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jean Peterson <
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Date:           Thursday, 11 Mar 1993 16:59:15 -0500
Subject: 4.0131  More Rs: "a naked new-born babe"
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0131  More Rs: "a naked new-born babe"
 
To Robert O'Connor:
 
>The idea that Duncan was a super-virtuous king is one that I have been told
>is not (by some interpretations of the sources) accurate - any comments
>anyone?
>
 
        There is a delightful essay by Barbara Riebling in SEL 31 (1991)
titled "Virtue's Sacrifice: A Machiavellian Reading of *Macbeth*" which
discusses the disastrous consequences of Duncan's political innocence in
Machiavellian terms;
 
       (e.g.)   Duncan, however admirable a man, is by Machiavellian
                standards a dangerous king--a ruler whose gentle and
                trusting character has invited treason, civil war,
                and foreign invasion.  By being a perfect Christian,
                Duncan succeeds in becoming a perfect lamb--a sacrificial
                lamb on the altar of real-world politics.
 
       Hope this helps!
                                Best--Jean Peterson
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 11 Mar 1993 18:25:29 -0400
Subject: 4.0158  Q: Banquo as Christ Figure
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0158  Q: Banquo as Christ Figure
 
The idea of Banquo as a Christ figure is interesting, though it may be
pretty subtle.  He does, after all, seem to be negotiating with Macbeth
in act I, which makes him rather dubious.
 
However, you might want to check out the masque (in act 4?)  The idea of
becoming a king through one's death is strongly reminiscent of Christ.
You might also want to see how these sorts of masque plays might tie in
with the medieval Corpus Christi plays.  I just had a lecture today on
how reformation England transformed religious symbolism to support
the monarchy--i.e. the imagery of the Blessed Virgin Mary was adopted
in part by Elizabeth, for instance.
 
Anyway, good luck!
 
        Sean Lawrence (
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