The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0486 Thursday, 18 March 1999.
From: Bill Cain <
Date: Wednesday, 17 Mar 1999 11:25:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Macbeth as Tyrant
Dear Shakespeareans: I would be grateful for some help with a part of
MACBETH that puzzles me-I must be missing something obvious....
Please take a look at 3. 6. In this scene the speakers denounce Macbeth
as a tyrant. But where is the evidence for that? We, the audience, know
that Macbeth has murdered Duncan and Banquo, but when do the others
How do they discover that IT IS NOT TRUE that Duncan's sons are
treacherous, and that IT IS NOT TRUE that Fleance (probably) killed his
What impels them to shift the accusations to Macbeth? Isn't some
important transition or information-giving or "recognition" scene before
Is Shakespeare cheating a bit by revving up the charges of tyranny
against Macbeth?--knowing that we will agree, given what we have seen,
even though the other characters do not know what we know?
Bill Cain (Wellesley College)