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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: February ::
Re: The Third Murderer in *Macbeth*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0160.  Monday, 28 February 1994.
 
(1)     From:   William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Saturday, 26 Feb 1994 21:24:50 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0156  Third Man in *Mac.*
 
(2)     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Sunday, 27 Feb 1994 11:46:21 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0156  Third Man in *Mac.*
 
(3)     From:   Milla Riggio <
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        Date:   Monday, 28 Feb 1994 08:18:24 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0156  Third Man in *Mac.*
 
(4)     From:   Luc Borot <
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        Date:   Monday, 28 Feb 1994 14:33:59 -0500
        Subj:   3rd murderer in *Macbeth*
 
(5)     From:   Hardy M. Cook <
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        Date:   Monday, February 28, 1994
        Subj:   The Third Murderer
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Saturday, 26 Feb 1994 21:24:50 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0156  Third Man in *Mac.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0156  Third Man in *Mac.*
 
The Three murderers
Herb,
 
It just popped into my head (again) that the three murderers are the three
witches; I mean the same actors.
 
I've heard the idea of Macbeth as the third murderer debated, and the
refutation seemed good. If Macbeth had been at the murder scene, he would know
that Fleance had escaped. He wouldn't be surprised when he is told at the
banquet scene. For me, that rules out Macbeth.
 
I like the addition of the third murderer because we don't know why Macbeth
sent him (or her?). I'm sure that some textual scholars will argue that in the
"original, long version" this is all accounted for. I have argued, and I think
I will still argue, that MACBETH is not a play revised by what's his face. I
forgot Middleton's name for a moment. The play is structurally perfect as it
is. OTHELLO also lacks a subplot of any great status.
 
And, Jim McKenna, here we have another example of off stage scheming that is
not explained to the audience. We auditors remained puzzled and quarrel over
what's going on. We remain ignorant. Was the third murderer Seyton - as is
sometimes suggested? The insidious Rosse? Malcolm who has sneaked back to get
rid of a potential competitor? Perhaps Lady sneaks out for a little fun?
 
Does Shakespeare always tell his audience what's going on? What about the
Paulina/Hermione plot?
 
Paranoid Bill Godshalk
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Sunday, 27 Feb 1994 11:46:21 -0400
Subject: 5.0156  Third Man in *Mac.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0156  Third Man in *Mac.*
 
Hi,
 
It seems a little unnecessary to suggest that the third murderer is
Macbeth himself.  Wouldn't the other two recognize him?  Granted, of course,
there are any number of disguises in Shakespeare that baffle credulity, and
it was night . . .
 
By the way, the BBC production has the third murderer off the other two
before walking off stage (or off camera).  I think they used Seyton as
third murderer.
 
        Good luck,
        Sean Lawrence
        
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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Milla Riggio <
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Date:           Monday, 28 Feb 1994 08:18:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0156  Third Man in *Mac.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0156  Third Man in *Mac.*
 
On the third murderer in Macboth:  One filmmaker (is it Polanski?) brings
a sinsiter Ross in as the third murderer, in a role he carries throughout
the play.
 
Milla Riggio
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Luc Borot <
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Date:           Monday, 28 Feb 1994 14:33:59 -0500
Subject:        3rd murderer in *Macbeth*
 
Herb,
        I can refer you to the excellent analysis of Polanski's film
treatment of this question, by two of my Montpellier colleagues, Patricia
Dorval and Jean-Marie Maguin, in their paper "Playing on Things as well as
Words: Antanaclasis on Screen and Stage", which they read at the first
conference of the European Society for the Study of English in 1991, and
which was published in *Cahiers Elisabethains* nb42 (Oct 92), pp.57-63 (esp.
see 59-60).
        It is a very subtle and close analysis of the devices and semantic
structures involved.
 
hope it helps
 
Luc
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Monday, February 28, 1994
Subject:        The Third Murderer
 
In the Plummer-Jackson *Macbeth* of several years back (as with a number of
other productions I've seen) the Third Man (strains of Reed-Welles film) is
the conflated, omnipresent henchman -- Seyton.
 

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