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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: February ::
Re: Psycho Macbeth
From:   BOE::HMCOOK       "Hardy M. Cook" 22-FEB-1994 11:06:40.76
To:     MX%UT
CC:     HMCOOK
Subj:   SHK 5.0144  Re: Psycho Macbeth
 
 
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0144.  Tuesday, 22 February 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Feb 1994 09:17:51 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0139 Re: Psycho Macbeth
 
(2)     From:   Kenneth M. McKay <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Feb 1994 11:09:01 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0139 Re: Psycho Macbeth
 
(3)     From:   Terence Martin <STSMART@UMSLVMA>
        Date:   Monday, 21 Feb 94 14:25:32 CST
        Subj:   Macbeth
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Feb 1994 09:17:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0139 Re: Psycho Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0139 Re: Psycho Macbeth
 
Brian Pedici's query about psychoanalytical interpretations of MACBETH and the
humors theory of Shakespeare's time intrigues me. As one who has long kept a
copy of Burton's ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY at bedside to cheer himself up on cold
winter nights in the North Country, I feel a fatal urge to respond. What we
have in humor theory and in modern psychological jargon is simply a different
set of labels for the same problems. As I see it the one is no less or more
silly than the other. Personkind seeks reassurance in the face of ultimate
catastrophe and must come up with these explanations of (I don't want to say
it) THE HUMAN CONDITION.  Ken Rothwell
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth M. McKay <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Feb 1994 11:09:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0139 Re: Psycho Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0139 Re: Psycho Macbeth
 
I am ill at these numbers, having, among other excuses, only just tuned in
to SHAKSPER, but I am puzzled by the suggestion that Macbeth be kept
within the common domain by recognizing him, possibly, as one who has
become confused re differences between sanctioned and unsanctioned
killing. What of Lady Macbeth? I don't recall any suggestion that she had
been in a position to become morally confused in this way. But I am more
concerned with the idea that Macbeth is or should be in the "common
domain." Common?--yes, in the sense of being commonly accessible (Even as
the experience realized in Sonnet 129 --a paradigm of tragedy--is commonly
accessible or intelligible), but, journalists' patter apart, the
experience of Macbeth as tragedy is not "common" or ordinary. It seems to
me that to assimilate Macbeth to ordinary contemporary mass experience
("another casualty of war") denies the distinctiveness of the tragedy from
which its significance is inseparable. The lust of Sonnet 129 is
immediately accessible, but, as realized in the sonnet, it is also
distinct from the "common domain": ordinary lust may be informed by the
sonnet, but the lust of the sonnet has behind it something other than bad
toilet training, bad parenting, repression, inadequate penal systems, poor
role models, and the influence of the contemporary entertainment industry.
 
OK, that's enough for a first time!
 
Ken McKay

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Martin <STSMART@UMSLVMA>
Date:           Monday, 21 Feb 94 14:25:32 CST
Subject:        Macbeth
 
I completely agree with James McKenna's comments that seeing Macbeth as some
kind of pschotic nut limits the value of the character.  All too often psycho
babble enables people to avoid recognizing their own relationship to the evil
in this world, now or in Shakespeare's day.
 
Terence Martin
UM - St. Louis
 

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