1994

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 <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 21 Feb 1994 09:17:51 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0139 Re: Psycho Macbeth
 
(2)     From:   Kenneth M. McKay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        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 <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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 <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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

Q: Graduate Assistants and Workloads

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0142.  Monday, 21 February 1994.
 
From:           Jim Swan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 20 Feb 1994 21:59:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Teaching Assistants and Workload
 
This isn't directly relevant to the focus of the LIST, but for any of us
who teach graduate students it's important:
 
The Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU) won recognition last year as the
the bargaining unit for teaching assistants in the SUNY system.  A contract
has just been ratified and, in response, some administrators are acting
vindictively and punitively.  As if to say, "OK, so you won--now we're
going to show you what it means."
 
The war zone is *workload*, which the contract defines as 20 hours per
week.  In most units within the Faculty of Arts & Letters at SUNY/Buffalo
(where I serve as Associate Dean for Graduate Programs), the tradition has
been that a TA wholly responsible for a class (English Composition,
Beginning Spanish, Art Studio) fulfills the obligation of the
assistantship.  Now there's a move to quantify everything and to say that
teaching a class takes less than 20 hours, that a TA will have other duties
as well.  Personally, I find this repugnant--it's Taylorism on the march,
and it has no place in graduate education.
 
To bolster my argument I need information, and I would be grateful if you
would answer a few questions:
 
  1) At your institution, what are the duties of a TA?  How are
     they defined?  Are they quantified by the hour?  Or by the
     course?
 
  2) Are your teaching assistants unionized?
 
  3) What is the _net_ annual stipend paid to a full-time TA?  That
     is, net of fees, tuition, health insurance, etc.  Some
     institutions pay good stipends but then require students to pay
     for mandatory health insurance.  In fact, does your campus supply
     health insurance, or do students have to pay for it?
 
  4) Is workload a war zone for faculty too?  Are your faculty
     unionized?
 
I really need answers to the first question--it's the crucial one.  If you
have figures for the third one, so much the better.  But don't hesitate to
reply if you can't answer the third question.
 
Please circulate this message as widely as possible--to colleagues, to other
LISTs, wherever.
 
Thanks.
 
Jim Swan
English Department
306 Samuel Clemens Hall
State University of New York
Buffalo, NY 14260
 
Office:  (716) 645-2711
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rs: Parting Shot; Oxford Editors

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0140.  Monday, 21 February 1994.
 
(1)     From:   William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Saturday, 19 Feb 1994 20:32:20 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0133  Psycho Macbeth; Parting Shot (Universals)
 
(2)     From:   William Proctor Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 20 Feb 94 12:37 CST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0135  The Oxford Editors and *MM*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Saturday, 19 Feb 1994 20:32:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0133  Psycho Macbeth; Parting Shot (Universals)
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0133  Psycho Macbeth; Parting Shot (Universals)
 
To Al Cacicedo: Is bullseye a euphemism?
 
Bill Godshalk
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Proctor Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 20 Feb 94 12:37 CST
Subject: 5.0135  The Oxford Editors and *MM*
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0135  The Oxford Editors and *MM*
 
I think that no one could believe that I have ever been a supporter of the New
Oxford Shakespeare.  It simply gets too many things wrong.  I am also, by and
large, a supporter of many of the things William Godshalk stands for and
expresses.
 
But, that good old Shakespearean "but", Taylor and Jowett's +Shakespeare
Reshaped+ is a first-rate piece of scholarship and I could no more dimiss it
out of hand than I could W.G.'s article in +SQ+ in 1972.  We need, on this list
and in our profession, much more light and much less heat.  Or so I believe.
 
William Proctor Williams
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"Much Ado About Something"

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0141.  Monday, 21 February 1994.
 
From:           Nate Johnson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 20 Feb 94 02:05:33 EDT
Subject:        "Much adoe about somethinge"
 
Here's more information on the "Much Ado About Something" poem in belated
response to Nancy Miller.  I think I may have mis-cited the manuscript in my
original posting.  Let me take this chance to repeat my request for
information about the poem.
 
Much adoe about somethinge
    or
rather much adoe about Nothinge
 
What have I heere a ladie Poet found
another Sappho or Semproma
and native (borne) upon our Brytish ground:
another rare Divine fulcoma.
  Tis so, I see it witnest with myne Ieys
  and her sweete straynes with myne doe Sympathize
Well met then ladie in th'accrostick measure
Ile tread it with yow (if yow please) a space
and think (if youle beleeve me) Europes treasure
t'a Citizen could yeelde no greater grace
  then lett him kisse your hands, but in ???
  on whome the Muses every minnet weight
 
It's a long poem, taking up around 30 leaves, and I haven't read the whole
thing through yet.  The reference to "th'accrostick measure" is the only
clue I've found so far as to the possible identity of the addressee.  Are
there any "ladie poets" in the 17th century by the name of "Wiatt" or
something close?  There's a list of names and birthdates in the same
manuscript, but no Wiatt.
 
Here's a more complete citation for the manuscript and film:
 
Sloane MS 1708, British Library
 
Film:  Britains Literary Heritage series
Harvester Microform
 
British Literary Manuscripts for the British Library, London.  Series One:
The English Renaissance:  Literature from the Tudor Period to the
Restoration c. 1500-c.1700
 
Part One:  Manuscripts selected from Sloane MSS 20-3943 and Additional MSS
4128-10305
 
Reel Six
 
At Cornell, it's Cornell University Libraries Film 5903, Reel 6.  That might
be useful for interlibrary loan.

Re: Psycho Macbeth

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0139.  Monday, 21 February 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Brian Pedaci <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 20 Feb 94 18:34:56 -0500
        Subj:   re: SHK 5.0133  Psycho Macbeth
 
(2)     From:   James McKenna <MCKENNJI@UCBEH>
        Date:   Sunday, 20 Feb 1994 19:39:48 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   macpsychbeth redux
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Pedaci <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 20 Feb 94 18:34:56 -0500
Subject: 5.0133  Psycho Macbeth
Comment:        re: SHK 5.0133  Psycho Macbeth
 
Just to throw another monkey wrench into the works, does anyone else find
it problematical to assume that modern psychoanalytic diagnoses are counter
to Shakespeare's wishes when he casts a great many of them under the
influence of "humors" which are beyond their control?  How does an
Elizabethan understanding of melancholy correspond to a modern diagnosis of
depression?  Or choler and, say, sociopathic behavior?  I do not presume to
know enough to make the connections, but it seems a worthy consideration
when dealing with the question of Elizabethan psyches...
 
--Brian Pedaci
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James McKenna <MCKENNJI@UCBEH>
Date:           Sunday, 20 Feb 1994 19:39:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        macpsychbeth redux
 
Okay, right.  Serial murderers are horrifying; I erred to imply that they were
not.  I meant, though, that thinking Macbeth a psychotic reduces our idea of
horror in the world to the belief that it is something that psychotics do, not
what ordinary people do when circumstances are right--or very, very wrong.
 
Yes, Dr. Godshalk, Macbeth and Banquo are different men, and it is unlikely
that Banquo would have gone Macbeth's road--for the reasons you specified.  It
is the mechanics of the mind that I am concerned with, though, and I think the
text presses us to see that evil is not just evil men with evil thoughts.  It
is the thoughts that many--all--of us have taking root in a mind and being
acted out. Hence Lady Macbeth's incitement.
 
Yes, Macbeth seems fond of legal killing and his murder spree is only a change
of venue.  But, again, perhaps we can avoid the psychotic approach by
recognizing that soldiering is still an honored profession, despite all our
pacifistic posturing.  We continue to train millions of men to murder in
one set of circumstances, and we then hope they behave civilly in others.  Is
Macbeth one of those who became confused?
 
My point overall is to keep Macbeth solidly in the realm of common experience,
so that his destruction does not drift toward becoming a macabre decoration.
 
Yours till the hurly-burly's done,
 
James McKenna
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