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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: May ::
Re: Othello and Macbeth
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0356.  Saturday, 11 May 1996.

(1)     From:   Pat Dunlay <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 08 May 1996 14:44:39 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0347  Re: Othello's Love

(2)     From:   Elizabeth M. Harvey <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 8 May 1996 19:47:27 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0347  Re: Othello's Love

(3)     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Friday, 10 May 1996 05:16:11 -0400
        Subj:   Lady Macbeth's faint


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pat Dunlay <
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Date:           Wednesday, 08 May 1996 14:44:39 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 7.0347  Re: Othello's Love
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0347  Re: Othello's Love

In reply to Chris Stroffolino on Othello and Macbeth, and please excuse any
inaccuracy as I don't have either text in front of me, I think of Macbeth's
"Tomorrow" speech as despairing, rather than indifference. I am moved by his
view of life as "a brief candle",  "signifying nothing" as he faces death.  I
haven't seen his relationship to Lady Macbeth deteriorate to indifference
either, at least not so early as Act II. At the banquet scene, he seems still
very dependant upon her when he is so shaken by Banquo's ghost.  I also lean
toward her fainting as genuine, but that's another discussion.  Perhaps I
should apologize for the "better play" remark; I just find Othello more
melodrama in parts and think that Macbeth addresses questions with more
conscious ambiguity, like life, not so black and white (and excuse the pun).
But that's clearly a personal preference on my part and I teach Othello now and
not Macbeth, so what does that say?  Pat Dunlay

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Elizabeth M. Harvey <
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Date:           Wednesday, 8 May 1996 19:47:27 -0300
Subject: 7.0347  Re: Othello's Love
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0347  Re: Othello's Love

I can't help but comment on Chris Stroffolino's reference to Macbeth's
"Tomorrow" speech as an example of Macbeth's indifference.  It seems to me that
that particular speech expresses a sense of futility and depression that speaks
so clearly and strongly that it stands out even among Shakespeare's
lines....Surely Macbeth is acknowledging the empty result of it all -
reminiscent of "Nought's had, all's spent" - Surely he is far from indifferent
to her death - or his own (impending)...

Elizabeth M. Harvey

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Friday, 10 May 1996 05:16:11 -0400
Subject:        Lady Macbeth's faint

Chris Stroffolino takes it that Lady Macbeth genuinely does faint. How does the
actor indicate this? Why isn't it that the more convincing the feigned faint,
the greater Lady Macbeth's duplicity? Give me Stephanie Hughes, whose
uncomplicated belief that all the Bard's heroes are thinly (yes, thinly)
disguised portraits of himself warmed the cockles of this old heart.

T. Hawkes
 

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