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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: December ::
Re: 3rd Murderer in Macbeth
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2269  Wednesday, 22 December 1999.

[1]     From:   Skip Nicholson <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Dec 1999 07:59:54 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 10.2248 3rd Murderer in Macbeth

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Dec 1999 10:01:53 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 10.2261 Re: 3rd Murderer in Macbeth

[3]     From:   Judith Matthews Craig <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 22 Dec 1999 00:02:48 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.2261 Re: 3rd Murderer in Macbeth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Skip Nicholson <
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Date:           Tuesday, 21 Dec 1999 07:59:54 -0800
Subject: 10.2248 3rd Murderer in Macbeth
Comment:        RE: SHK 10.2248 3rd Murderer in Macbeth

A memorable Third Murderer (was it in Sarah Caldwell's strange Boston
production years ago?) was no other than "Witch 3," who in the murder
scene rescued a captured and clearly doomed Fleance... a fascinating
turn, but it did leave you wondering for the rest of the play what else
the witches were going to do to make sure their prophesies were
accurate.

Cheers,
Skip Nicholson

PS: Thanks to John Ramsay for remembering that it was the Stratford
Festival production, and not Sarah Caldwell's as I mistakenly posted,
that had the witch as the 3rd murder who rescues Fleance.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Tuesday, 21 Dec 1999 10:01:53 -0800
Subject: Re: 3rd Murderer in Macbeth
Comment:        SHK 10.2261 Re: 3rd Murderer in Macbeth

J. Kenneth Campbell wrote:

>In Harold C Goddard's essay "Macbeth as the Third Murderer" he presents
>some compelling arguments to support the idea of the title.  Briefly,
>his thesis is that the third murderer is meant to indicate to the
>audience Macbeth's ambition and thought: it is not Macbeth's body, but
>his mind and his will that the third murderer represents.  Goddard
>claims that Shakespeare conveys this idea in everything the third
>murderer says since all his words has something in it to remind us of
>Macbeth.  Definitely worth a read.

This was tried by the California Shakespeare Festival about 8 years
ago.  The third murderer was hooded.  Right before the stabbing, the
hood was pulled off, revealing Macbeth.  This made for compelling
theater until you asked the question, Why not fend off the killer
instead of unmasking him?

Then there is that cute little exchange between the First Murderer and
Macbeth in 3.4, where  Macbeth asks, "Is he dispatched?"

Wouldn't the third murderer know?

I believe those lines were cut at CSF.  If any one cares, I wrote about
the production in Shakespeare Bulletin, Vol. 11, #2, Spring 1993.  It
was critically acclaimed (the production, not my review), but I found
the concept wanting.

Cheers,
Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judith Matthews Craig <
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Date:           Wednesday, 22 Dec 1999 00:02:48 -0600
Subject: 10.2261 Re: 3rd Murderer in Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.2261 Re: 3rd Murderer in Macbeth

Paul Swenson writes:

<Besides: everybody knows that Innogen and Mrs. <Bottom took turns being
<the real 3rd witch...

Which witch?

I have read from previous postings that Mrs. Bottom was like Gertrude
and Innogen, but these characters, unlike Mrs. Bottom, are actually in
plays.  And neither Innogen nor Gertrude are in 'Macbeth.'

Hence, I propose a new solution to the problem of "which witch:"
abolish Shakespeare and along with Fat Jack, you abolish all the
world.   Hence the problem of Einstein, outer space, God, and MR is
dealt with-Ockham's (not Occam's razor).

Britishly yours,
Judy Craig
 

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