The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1077. Monday, 27 October 1997.
Date: Sunday, 26 Oct 1997 23:56:37 -0500
Subject: 8.1072 Qs: Macbeth / Children
Comment: Re: SHK 8.1072 Qs: Macbeth / Children
This play does seem to be all about heirs, inheritance, no one to carry
on. It was ten years after Hamnet's death. Ten years is surely an
arbitrary amount of time to bury a hurt and then see it surface, but I
remember noting with surprise it was ten years after the end of the
Vietnam War when all the movies and memoirs suddenly appeared.
He was older. His wife was 50. He would likely have no other legitimate
sons. Then, to honor the king, he writes a play in which all these
images of inheritance begin to take over. Along with that horrible fate
of sons. Macbeth would be a king but father none? Shakespeare was a
king of playwrights, and would father none. It is reasonable to believe
that the theme awoke many images and feelings he had shoved aside in the
press of daily life, particularly since that life was so far from
Stratford where his son had died. Ever notice how when people die out of
town, they're not really dead, just still out of town? Maybe Macbeth is
when Will faced the fact that Hamnet wasn't out of town.