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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: April ::
*Mac.*: 3.4; Lead on; More Questions
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0291.  Thursday, 13 April 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Dom Saliani <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Apr 1995 09:25:38 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0285  Qs: Line
 
(2)     From:   Scott Shepherd <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Apr 1995 13:56:34 -0400
        Subj:   Re: *Mac.* 3.4
 
(3)     From:   Roger D. Gross <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Apr 1995 17:31:09 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   brain failure
 
(4)     From:   Christine Couche <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Apr 1995 13:12:18 +0800 (WST)
        Subj:   Re: Lead On Macduff?
 
(5)     From:   Eric Armstrong <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Apr 1995 07:45:40 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0288  Re: Another *Mac.* Question
 
(6)     From:   E. Duggan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Apr 95 18:47:49 BST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0288 Re: *Macbeth: prophecy & truth*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dom Saliani <
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Date:           Wednesday, 12 Apr 1995 09:25:38 -0700 (MST)
Subject: 6.0285  Qs: Line
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0285  Qs: Line
 
Anna Cole is right in identifying this particular speech in Act 3,iv as posing
a problem. We learn here that Macbeth has sent messengers to Macduff and that
they have been rebuffed.
 
The matter is raised again in Act 3,vi where Lenox and the Lord converse on
matters which have not yet occurred and of which Macbeth was ignorant until
informed by Lenox at the end of Act 4,i.
 
Lord.               Thither Macduff
     Is gone to pray the holy King, upon his aid  30
     To wake Northumberland, and warlike Siward;
     that by the help of these (with him above
     To ratify the work), we may again
     Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,
     Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives,
     Do faithful homage, and receive free honours,
     All which we pine for now. * And this report
     Hath so exasperate the King, that he
     Prepares for some attempt of war.*
Lenox.                   Sent he to Macduff?
Lord.     He did; and with an absolute 'Sir, not I,'        40
     The cloudy messenger turns me his back,
     And hums as who would say, 'You'll rue the time
     That clogs me with this answer.'
          (Act 3, Scene iv, lines 29-43)
 
Should not this scene in Act 3 follow Act IV, i where the following
conversation occurs?
 
Lenox. 'Tis two or three my Lord, that bring you word,
     Macduff is fled to England.
Macbeth.            Fled to England?
Lenox. Ay, my good Lord.
Macbeth. (Aside.) Time, thou anticipat'st my dread exploits;
     The flighty purpose never is o'ertook ...    145
 
This is one of many problems in the play that suggest that *Macbeth* as it
first appeared in the First Folio had a bad editor. I suspect that the
Ur-Macbeth written by Shakespeare made more sense.
 
Dom Saliani
< 
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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Shepherd <
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Date:           Wednesday, 12 Apr 1995 13:56:34 -0400
Subject:        Re: *Mac.* 3.4
 
I'm not sure what Roger Gross means by "Macduff's murder." Macduff survives the
play. At the end of the banquet scene, which is what we're talking about, the
attack on his family hasn't happened yet.
 
Maybe he means Banquo's murder. Whether Lady Macbeth "doesn't know of" that is
disputable I guess, but after
 
> O full of scorpions is my mind dear wife!
> Thou know'st that Banquo and his Fleance live.
>
> But in them nature's copy's not eterne.
>
> There's comfort yet, they are assailable.
> Then be thou jocund....
>                 ...there shall be done
> A deed of dreadful note.
 
plus Banquo's conspicuous overemphasized absence at the feast, she would have
to be slow indeed not to get it.
 
Who does she think Macbeth sees in the chair? Duncan? Surely not. When she says
 
> This is the very painting of your fear.
> This is the air-drawn dagger which you said
> Led you to Duncan.
 
the force of the rebuke is "This is the same thing that happened the OTHER
time", ie when you killed that other person.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger D. Gross <
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Date:           Wednesday, 12 Apr 1995 17:31:09 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        brain failure
 
Dear, Patient Souls,
 
Have you ever had that experience where your brain goes to sleep but you keep
on typing and transmitting the output?  It happened to me on my Macbeth note.
Not only did I murder Macduff when I meant to kill Banquo but I also dropped a
few lines which might have made what I said sound more like rational discourse.
 Moral: proofread.
 
Now that I read the parts I accidentally left out, they don't really seem worth
bothering you with.  Please consider my interp of the line in question and
ignore the rest.
 
Thanks to those who have sent advice on London theatregoing.
 
Roger Gross
U. of Ark.
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Couche <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Apr 1995 13:12:18 +0800 (WST)
Subject:        Re: Lead On Macduff?
 
I too am familiar with this version. My father, a man of many platitudes and
sayings (most of Goon origin), has always said "Lead on Macduff" which I
thought to be the real thing until I actually read Macbeth. Since then I have
assumed he was simply misquoting. (The inevitable collapse of patriarchal
authority I guess, but at least "I've got my feet to keep me warm")
 
Eccles (alias Chris Couche)
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eric Armstrong <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Apr 1995 07:45:40 -0400
Subject: 6.0288  Re: Another *Mac.* Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0288  Re: Another *Mac.* Question
 
>I have a little textual puzzle that I can't figure out and I'm looking for
>help.  Does anyone know where the (mis)-quotation-- "Lead on
>Macduff"--originates from?  The original reads "Lay on Macduff" and then
>Macbeth and Macduff exit fighting.  I have checked both acting and literary
>editions and can find no 'authoritative' source for this error.  Can anyone
>help?  Are there others out there who have heard this quote or is it just me?
>
>D. Laing.
 
For those who don't know this common misquote, it is used primarily in playing
cards, i.e. poker. I imagine that theatricals sitting around backstage would
distort the famous words on the nights when "The Ghost Walked".
 
Actually that is a question I meant to ask - The expression "The Ghost Walks
Tonight" means that the actors are being paid that night - or so I have been
told. The reason for this colourful expression arises from the great touring
companies of the Actor-Managers, where a week of rep would conclude with
Shakespeare's greatest box-office draw, The Scottish Play. But in that case,
why isn't it the GhostS walk tonight. The singular ghost makes me think that
they got paid on nights when Hamlet played. Anyone know the true history of
this ??
 
Eric Armstrong.
 
(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           E. Duggan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 12 Apr 95 18:47:49 BST
Subject: 6.0288 Re: *Macbeth: prophecy & truth*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0288 Re: *Macbeth: prophecy & truth*
 
Hi, I'd like to float some questions to the list.
 
Is it generally agreed that _ALL_ the prophecies come true?
 
Is it accepted that they all come true in unexpected ways? (eg Burnham wood,
untimely ripped, ect., and that the _unexpectedness_ is what makes the play
fun?)
 
OK, I'd like to suggest that the propechy re Banquo comes true too, in an
unexcpected way. Banquo is told 'you won't be king but will get kings' or words
to that effect.  At the end of the play Fleance is forgotten.  However, the
person coming to take the crown is Malcolm.  For the propechy to be true (and
all ther others are) the father of Malcolm must be Banquo.
 
Any takers?
 

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