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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: October ::
Re: Hughes' Goddess; Laughter in *Mac.*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0769.  Monday, 9 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Howard Weinberg <
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        Date:   Sunday,  8 Oct 95 16:10:28 PDT
        Subj:   RE: SHK 6.0758 Qs: Hughes' Goddess;
 
(2)     From:   Norman J. Myers <
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        Date:   Monday, 9 Oct 1995 14:41:18 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0760  Q: Laughter in *Mac.*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Howard Weinberg <
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Date:           Sunday,  8 Oct 95 16:10:28 PDT
Subject: 6.0758 Qs: Hughes' Goddess;
Comment:        RE: SHK 6.0758 Qs: Hughes' Goddess;
 
re: Ted Hughes S& the Goddess
 
I agree with Michael Sexson that this is an astonishingly stimulating book. Its
the reason I started working through the Shakespeare Corpus several years ago,
and thus responsible for my presence on the list. The lack of scholarly
apparatus doesn't bother me: this is one poet commenting on the work of
another. What excites me is Hughes' ability to trace a conflict phrased in
mythological terms, a problem, as it were that Shakespeare is working out from
Venus and Adonis through to the Tempest, a resolution he eventually
accomplishes without violence, in the midst of the barely contained cold war of
archetypes and religions over which Elizabeth and James preside. That Hughes
calls Shakespeare's work the " national epic" of the English makes perfect
sense to me, and makes the work relevant in ways I had not appreciated before.
 
I don't mind that the book is remaindered. It makes it cheaper for me to buy
copies and give them to my friends.
 
Howard Weinberg
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norman J. Myers <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 9 Oct 1995 14:41:18 -0400
Subject: 6.0760  Q: Laughter in *Mac.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0760  Q: Laughter in *Mac.*
 
On October 6, "Jung Jimmy" wrote:
 
>Recently, I saw a local production Macbeth, that has been well received by the
>critics.  My own response was mixed.  At the heart of my disappointment was
>laughter during the banquet scene.  When Macbeth sees, and then doesn't see
>Banquo, there is a confusion among the dinner guests, but is the typical
>reaction from the audience laughter?
 
Well, it would depend on what was going on on stage, wouldn't it?  In James
Thurber's wonderful short story "The Macbeth Murder Mystery,"  an American
woman who's a mystery story fanatic regards Macbeth as a murder mystery and
doesn't believe Macbeth did it.  She says something to the effect that "A big
strong man like that doesn't go around seeing ghosts. He was protecting
somebody."  Perhaps all in this production that had preceeded the banquet scene
suggested that Macbeth was, indeed, a big strong man who wouldn't see ghosts,
and the audience laughed accordingly when he did see one.  Most of the time
audiences (or students) tell us something we didn't know about our productions
(or our classroom teaching of the play)--or perhaps something we didn't really
*want* to know.
 

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