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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: November ::
Re: Assorted Macbeth Postings
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1103.  Sunday, 2 November 1997.

[1]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Friday, 31 Oct 1997 10:36:05 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1096  Assorted Macbeth Postings

[2]     From:   Michael Best <
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        Date:   Friday, 31 Oct 1997 10:29:54 -0800
        Subj:   Macbeth summarized

[3]     From:   Narrelle Harris <
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        Date:   Saturday, 01 Nov 1997 00:17:25 +0800
        Subj:   Simplified Macbeth

[4]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Saturday, 01 Nov 1997 19:04:57 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1098  Re: Assorted Macbeth Postings


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Friday, 31 Oct 1997 10:36:05 -0500
Subject: 8.1096  Assorted Macbeth Postings
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1096  Assorted Macbeth Postings

>Are these lines a summary of *Macbeth*?
>
>        Double, double, toil and trouble;
>        Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Joseph Tate might tell his friend that they apply at least equally well
to *The Comedy of Errors*.

Dave Evett

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Best <
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Date:           Friday, 31 Oct 1997 10:29:54 -0800
Subject:        Macbeth summarized

Sure -- it's a summary of life, the universe, and everything.

Have others noticed how many times we are prepared to announce that a
given play is "about" this or that? Is it because we are teachers of
students who want answers rather than questions that we are so willing
to treat plays as though they could be solved? Thurber's lovely parable
is a perfect example of the tendency taken to its extreme.

By the way, Bill Godshalk and Michael Mullins are distantly related
through a common ancestor who bore an uncanny resemblance to James
Thurber.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Narrelle Harris <
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Date:           Saturday, 01 Nov 1997 00:17:25 +0800
Subject:        Simplified Macbeth

Richard Nathan gives a few insights into why the first line of:

>        Double, double, toil and trouble;
>        Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

would summarise Macbeth (as suggested by Joseph Tate) but says:

>However, I
>have no idea how someone could argue that the "Fire burn, and cauldron
>bubble" is a summary of the play.

Given the quote as a challenge, I immediately thought of causality in
relation to the second line.  The witches are the fire applied to
Macbeth (or the whole Scottish court) to make that 'cauldron bubble'.
Lady M must apply fire to Mac's cauldron as well, to make him act.  She
herself must call upon 'murdering ministers' to spur her into action.
MacDuff is not moved to act openly until the murder of his family.
Off-hand, it seems some people in this play have to be *provoked* into
action, rather than *choosing* to act.

I don't know how far you can take this idea - not very, I suspect, but
it's one way of interpreting these lines as encapsulating Macbeth.  I
wouldn't really recommend it as more than an exercise, myself, but it
might be fun to see what students could pull out of it as a discussion.

Narrelle Harris

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Saturday, 01 Nov 1997 19:04:57 -0500
Subject: 8.1098  Re: Assorted Macbeth Postings
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1098  Re: Assorted Macbeth Postings

>Dr. Mullin has a full growth of beard, and sports a rather natty beret-at
>least when he's biking  . . . .

That proves it! Godshalk and Mullin are the same person.  Or, perhaps,
they've both read Thurber.

Yours, Bill Mullin, ur a Godshalk
 

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