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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: March ::
Re: Macbeth's Death; Macduff; Ophelia's Rue
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0289.  Thursday, 31 March 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Timothy Dayne Pinnow <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Mar 1994 11:00:53 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0284  Re: Macduff; Macbeth's Death
 
(2)     From:   William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Mar 1994 22:22:22 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0284  Re: Macduff; Macbeth's Death
 
(3)     From:   Jean Peterson <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Mar 1994 14:17:50 -0500
        Subj:   ophelia's rue
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Timothy Dayne Pinnow <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Mar 1994 11:00:53 -0600
Subject: 5.0284  Re: Macduff; Macbeth's Death
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0284  Re: Macduff; Macbeth's Death
 
To all who responded to my query:
 
First off, many thanks for all the ideas concerning Macbeth's end.  I agree
with many of you, and if I were producing the whole play, I might not try
the different endings that I am drawn to in doing just the final battle.
But I am intrigued by the idea that Macbeth is NOT noble at the end of the
play.  In fact, I am fascinated by the idea that his ambition for
"everything" has left him with "nothing" (as in signifying) not even his
dignity.  It is the price he pays for losing his soul to power.
 
                 Timothy Dayne Pinnow
                 St. Olaf College
                 
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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Wednesday, 30 Mar 1994 22:22:22 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0284  Re: Macduff; Macbeth's Death
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0284  Re: Macduff; Macbeth's Death
 
Macduff early on in the play indicates his mistrust of Macbeth, or so I read
the choric scene 2.4.20-38 (Signet ed.). Macbeth has betrayed his king (Duncan)
and his colleague (Banquo) before Macduff leaves for England. Why would Macduff
believe that Macbeth will not hold his family hostage? Were I Macbeth, I would.
Macbeth makes a mistake and kills Macduff's family. I think Lady Macduff's
comment to Ross (4,2,6-14) is telling. Her question remains unanswered.
 
Of course, Macduff is not a completely developed character, and he doesn't
indulge in Iago-like soliloquies, but I'm afraid I can't subdue my suspicions.
You say I'm cynical and quick to judge. You bet!
 
And if Macduff is indeed "Bellona's bridegroom" (1.2.54) who is fighting in
Fife (wouldn't you expect the Thane of Fife to lead the local fighting?), then
he is opposed to Macbeth early in the play. I realize that I may not be walking
on thin ice here; I may be walking directly on the water!
 
I think Shakespeare likes to suggest, hint, that the primary action of his
plays is not isolated. It goes on in a context, and that context is often
shadowy, illusive. I think Shakespeare depends on the active (paranoid) auditor
to fill it in. And don't we ever?
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jean Peterson <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Mar 1994 14:17:50 -0500
Subject:        ophelia's rue
 
In Zeffirelli's film *Hamlet*, Helena Bonham-Carter's Ophelia hands the rue
to Claudius, delivering the line "You must wear YOUR rue with a difference"
with supremely nasty emphasis on "your." Just another staging
possibility...
 
Jean Peterson
Bucknell University
 

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