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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: February ::
Psycho Macbeth; Parting Shot (Universals)
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0133. Saturday, 19 February 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Gardner Campbell <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Feb 1994 13:38:59 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 5.0129  Duke Vincentio; Psycho Macbeth
 
(2)     From:   William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Friday, 18 Feb 1994 23:12:18 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0129  Duke Vincentio; Psycho Macbeth
 
(3)     From:   Al Cacicedo <
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        Date:   Friday, 18 Feb 1994 23:52:50 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Parting shot
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gardner Campbell <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Feb 1994 13:38:59 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 5.0129  Duke Vincentio; Psycho Macbeth
Comment:        RE: SHK 5.0129  Duke Vincentio; Psycho Macbeth
 
I too dislike a psycho Macbeth, which is why I find the Nicol Williamson/
BBC *Macbeth* nearly unendurable.
 
Could it be that Macbeth's troubles with the subjunctive, in all its
rhetorical/metaphysical/psychic ramifications, are at the heart of him?
I find I.vii.1-2 uncanny, revealing, and profoundly troubling (for Macbeth
and for me) in this regard.
 
Gardner Campbell

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University of San Diego
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Friday, 18 Feb 1994 23:12:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0129  Duke Vincentio; Psycho Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0129  Duke Vincentio; Psycho Macbeth
 
I think Jim McKenna is correct about Banquo, who is also dreaming about the
Weird Sisters in his spare time. But had Banquo been married to the nameless
Lady, would he have turned into a serial murderer? I have me doubts. Macbeth is
a dark and brooding man from the beginning of the play, and he likes
"unseaming" other warriors. He's a poetic sociopath. Banquo seems more open,
and he has a son. Macbeth has no children.
 
Now, if Macbeth is psychotic, does that fact diminish the horror of the play?
Not for me. I find serial murderers genuinely horrifying - and puzzling. Most
murderers do not find murder compelling. They do it once, and never do it
again. Rehabilitating murderers is probably a waste of our money. But serial
murderers ARE different, and the series initiated by Macbeth when he kills
Duncan (or Macdonwald) is progressive. Each murder is different, and each less
rational, more puzzling.
 
Macbeth may not be the standard "tragic hero," but maybe Shakespeare was really
writing a gangster play, looking at events from the point of view of, say, a
Claudius. Of course, Claudius is the usual kind of murderer. Hamlet forces him
into attempting a second murder, etc.
 
I'm not at all sure that a tragic hero has to have "universal" (that bad word,
again) appeal.
 
Bill Godshalk
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Cacicedo <
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Date:           Friday, 18 Feb 1994 23:52:50 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Parting shot
 
To Bill Godshalk:
 
     Bullseye!
 

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