1994

Macduff and Macbeth

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0298.  Friday, 2 April 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Phyllis Rackin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 1 Apr 1994 11:27:17 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0295  Re: Macduff
 
(2)     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 01 Apr 1994 14:13:46 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0295  Re: Macbeth's Death; Macduff
 
(3)     From:   William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Friday, 01 Apr 1994 22:53:08 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0295  Re: Macbeth's Death; Macduff
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Phyllis Rackin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 1 Apr 1994 11:27:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0295  Re: Macduff
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0295  Re: Macduff
 
Like Naomi Liebler, I agree that the exchange between Lady Macduff and her son
is puzzling and problematic, but I think it has something to do with the issue
of "manhood," which is defined in competing and contradictory ways throughout
the play and is associated, I think, with the contradictions between residual
and emergent conceptions of marriage. (Cf., e.g.,"I dare do all that may
become a man; Who dares do more is none." "When you durst do it, then you were
a man." "Dispute it like a man." "But I must also feel it as a man") Macbeth's
murder of Duncan takes place in the context of a close, affective bond with his
wife, which historians associate with an emergent ideal of companionate
marriage. Macduff's heroic, patriotic action requires literal and figurative
estrangement from his wife, which reminds me of the old-fashioned ideal of the
warrior satirized in Hotspur's preference for his horse to his wife.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 01 Apr 1994 14:13:46 -0400
Subject: 5.0295  Re: Macbeth's Death; Macduff
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0295  Re: Macbeth's Death; Macduff
 
Just a question for Bill Godshalk.  Is there any reason to think that Macduff
is not Thane of Fife?  It is where he lives, after all, and he seems to receive
the respect given to other Thanes.
 
As for his leaving for England, it hardly makes him a bad or ambitious person.
He is, after all, the man who desires the voices of the thanes "aloud with
mine" to proclaim Malcolm king, and he no doubt saves hundreds of lives by
helping to end Macbeth's tyranny.  He doesn't enjoy leaving his wife exposed in
the process, but if he doesn't run this risk, even more will die.
        Cheers,
        Sean Lawrence.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Friday, 01 Apr 1994 22:53:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0295  Re: Macbeth's Death; Macduff
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0295  Re: Macbeth's Death; Macduff
 
Okay, let's admit that that the first thane of Cawdor dies with dignity, or, at
least, Malcolm so reports his death (1.4.7-8, Wells and Taylor). That does NOT
prove that Macbeth died in the the same fashion. In fact, isn't Macbeth a
traitor worse that the former thane? I don't see why we have to glorify this
murderer. I don't see why we have to see this play as a tragedy -- if tragedy
means that the protagonist has  redeeming qualities. Macbeth does NOT have
redeeming qualities. He kills his direct superior to get his place; he kills
his friend; he kills a defenseless family of women and children; he kills a boy
warrior. I would not really like to hear anyone defend this kind of behavior
for any reason. I don't think that Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth are the kind of people
I'd like to live with. If you want them as neighbor, I guess we won't be
hearing from you again.
 
Let's not glorify this kind of violence.
 
Bill Godshalk

Re: AYI Weather; Stylistics; Deathbed Scenes; Hamlet

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0297.  Friday, 1 April 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Paul Silverman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 31 Mar 1994 11:33:22 -0800
        Subj:   AYI Weather/Music
 
(2)     From:   Chris Kendall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 31 Mar 1994 17:26:12 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   Stylistics
 
(3)     From:   David Evett <R0870%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 31 Mar 1994 16:08 ET
        Subj:   Deathbed Scenes
 
(4)     From:   Ellen Edgerton <EBEDGERT@SUADMIN>
        Date:   Friday, 01 Apr 1994 08:35 ET
        Subj:   Hamlet on Trial
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Silverman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 31 Mar 1994 11:33:22 -0800
Subject:        AYI Weather/Music
 
>Anybody have any thoughts about the weather conditions in the forest scenes of
>AS YOU LIKE IT? How much of the "icy fang And churlish chiding of the winter's
>wind" does the exiled Duke and his pals actually face? I've seen Act II begin
>in the snow, and in the summer, and even (in Munich once) in a steam bath for
>the aged.  Any thoughts?
 
I was involved in a production last sumer at the California Shakespeare
Festival that was set in 19th-century Russia.  The weather being nothing if
not inhospitable, the enthusiasm expressed by the Duke in Act II was not
shared by his crew.  Ironic reads of all these lines, and weary reactions
to the Duke's verve for comic effect.
 
And beautiful Russian folk scoring of the songs.
 
Paul Silverman
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Kendall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 31 Mar 1994 17:26:12 -0700 (MST)
Subject:        Stylistics
 
"... the high and giddy mast"
 
Somewhere there's a glossary of figures of speech that I must get so that I
can identify subjects like the above and amaze and bore people at parties.
What's the name of this one, where a quality evinced in a human being by an
object is ascribed to the object itself?  I, too, find this trope
"Shakespearian" but can't say exactly why.  Possibly because he employed it
so frequently and with such startling economy.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <R0870%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 31 Mar 1994 16:08 ET
Subject:        Deathbed Scenes
 
In connection with an article-in-progress on deathbed scenes in Shakespeare
(of which a draft is on file with SHAKSPER), I would appreciate pointers to
scenes in non-Shakespearean early modern drama that represent people dying of
more or less natural causes (old age, disease).  You can email them to me
directly, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by paper mail to Dept. of English, Cleveland
State University, Cleveland, OH 44115.  Thanks in advance.
 
                                                    Dave Evett
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ellen Edgerton <EBEDGERT@SUADMIN>
Date:           Friday, 01 Apr 1994 08:35 ET
Subject:        Hamlet on Trial
 
I noticed that this weekend, C-SPAN (of all networks) is going to be airing a
mock trial of Hamlet (for the murder of Polonius?), featuring one of the
Supreme Court justices and members of the White House legal staff doing the
cross-examining.  The first airing is on Saturday at around 10:00 am EST, and
I'm sure they'll repeat the program at some point during the weekend.
 
Check the listings; I just happened to notice this as I was reading TV GUIDE
just as I was leaving for work, so I didn't have time to write this information
down properly!
 
Ellen Edgerton
Syracuse University
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Re: Macbeth's Death; Macduff

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0295.  Friday, 1 April 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Naomi Conn Liebler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 31 Mar 94 14:04:33 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 5.0284 Re: Macduff; Macbeth's Death
 
(2)     From:   Jung Jimmy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 31 Mar 94 10:05:00 est
        Subj:   RE: SHK 5.0267  Q: Macbeth's Death
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Naomi Conn Liebler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 31 Mar 94 14:04:33 +0100
Subject: Re: Macduff; Macbeth's Death
Comment:        SHK 5.0284 Re: Macduff; Macbeth's Death
 
On Macbeth's death: none of the contributions to this discussion so far has
mentioned the structural symmetry of M's death with that of the first Thane of
Cawdor (the traitor Macbeth defeated and replaced), who also dies with a
certain amount of dignity: "Nothing in his life / Became him like the leaving
of it." This line of course prompt Duncan's beautifully ironic: "There's no
art/ to find the mind's construction in the  face; / He was a gentleman on whom
I built / An absolute trust" (I.iv.7-14). Delicious, isn't it?
 
On Macduff's departure: he's in England for the same reasons Ross and Malcolm
are--to seek help against Macbeth. What's wrong with that? I agree that the
exchange between Lady Macduff and her son is puzzling and problematic, but she
wouldn't be the first woman who speaks as she does when her partner goes off to
do some patriotic (not to mention patriarchal) thing.
 
Cheers,
Naomi Liebler
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jung Jimmy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 31 Mar 94 10:05:00 est
Subject: 5.0267  Q: Macbeth's Death
Comment:        RE: SHK 5.0267  Q: Macbeth's Death
 
Historically, it's my understanding that Macbeth actually fled from Macduff,
leaving me to think Macbeth's fall in battle could be an intentional injection
of dignity.  Deny him that and Macbeth seems to me less interesting as a
central character.  Like Richard III, who has his humour to round out his
butchery, Macbeth need his dignity to keep us paying attention.
 
jimmy jung
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re: Folio-Based Editions, Footnotes,

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0296.  Friday, 1 April 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Mary Jane Miller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 31 Mar 94 12:43:19 -0500
        Subj:   Re: the hazards of footnotes
 
(2)     From:   Michael Caulfield <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 01 Apr 1994 02:16:33 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Folio Texts
 
(3)     From:   Steven Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
        Date:   Friday, 01 Apr 94 08:40:49 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0294  Folio-Based Editions
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Jane Miller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 31 Mar 94 12:43:19 -0500
Subject:        Re: the hazards of footnotes
 
Re: Michael Young's question -- I wonder if anyone else does what I do about
edited texts and footnotes. I tell students to read the play straight
through, preferably at one or two sittings, first and then to reread with
the footnotes. I began to advise this practice when a colleague in biology
volunteered to do a paper on The Tempest for a 'great books/liberal
studies' dress rehearsal which  involved faculty only. He got completely
bogged down in the footnotes, good scholar that he was and was bored by
the play. I suggested a straight read-through for basic plot and flow,
the closest one can get in the study to seeing the play. That untangled it
for him and revived his interest. My students, - those who do read the play
more than once [final exams are upon us so pardon the seasonal cynicism]
-also seem to find that advice helpful. Of course, they do get lectures on
Q and F, variants and the traps of look alike words whose meanings have
changed etc. as a raison d'etre for not using Aunt Millie's old
unannotated Globe text.
 
Happy Easter all. Up here classes resume Easter Mon but conclude in 10 days.
 
Mary Jane Miller,
Brock University,
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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Caulfield <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 01 Apr 1994 02:16:33 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Folio Texts
 
Concerning Kurt Daw's comment that the lack of punctuation in unmodernized
texts provides better reading cues to actors: if my memory serves me right,
Roman Jakobson makes a similar point (regarding the sonnets) in his analysis of
"Th'expence of spirit". The essay can be found in his *Language & Literature*
volume. Especially where complex wordplay is prevalent in a text, the unnoted
insertion of punctuation can be quite destructive.
 
Michael Caulfield
Merrimack, NH
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steven Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
Date:           Friday, 01 Apr 94 08:40:49 EST
Subject: 5.0294  Folio-Based Editions
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0294  Folio-Based Editions
 
Using early editions?  An anecdote about early editions -- quarto and Folio
texts -- in classrooms:  About six years ago I gave a workshop as part of
series for New Jersey teachers interested in Shakespeare.  The opening
session, a week earlier, offered me a chance to distribute xeroxes of the 1597
and 1599 quartos.  These were straight from facsimiles, though a few pages
illegible in facsimile were followed by copies of equivalents taken from a 19th
century diplomatic reprint.  I asked the participants to look at the
alternatives, concentrating on passages that they usually spent time on with
students.  At the next session one brave soul reported that she had made copies
of copies and worked with them with her FOURTH GRADE class in the pine forests
of central Jersey.  They acted out the different texts of specific scenes.
When she then turned to go into other activities, she handed out the standard
issues modern type-face school texts.  The class rebelled, she reported,
saying, "We want the REAL plays."
 
Just an anecdote.  And scurrillously scampering away from the ontological
"reality claims" of those imperfect witnesses from the olden days.  But, hey,
plays themselves smack of make-believe that we willingly choose to believe
while we know we are making that belief.  That's different from Authority,
Editorial Style.
 
To lay hands on copies of the earliest texts and to give them to your classes,
perhaps you can xerox from an out-of-copyright 19th century facsimile. At 5 to
10 cents per two-page opening, you can have a Q1 HAMLET for $2-$4 if your
school won't run them up for free.
 
And for years I've been handing out small parallel text chunks of plays, a
scene, a ten line passage of alternative actions, etc.  If anyone would like to
get "purple alternative passages" from LEAR, HAMLET, ROMEO AND JULIET, HENRY VI
parts 2 and 3, and MERRY WIVES, I'll be glad to send them out.
 
                               As ever,
                                 Steve Urkowitz
                                 Department of English
                                 City College of New York
                                 New York, NY 10031
                                                   SURCC@CUNYVM

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