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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: December ::
Re: Hecate
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2211  Friday, 1 December 2000

[1]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 30 Nov 2000 13:07:23 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2201 Re: Hecate

[2]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 30 Nov 2000 16:46:32 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2201 Re: Hecate


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Thursday, 30 Nov 2000 13:07:23 -0500
Subject: 11.2201 Re: Hecate
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2201 Re: Hecate

>> If memory serves me correctly, the only bit from _Macbeth_ that has been
>> designated as Middleton's are the Hecate scenes. . . .

And Middleton's The Witch is not at all like Macbeth -- to my ear.  One
wonders why the Oxford editors elected to transport so much of The Witch
into their Macbeth.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Thursday, 30 Nov 2000 16:46:32 -0500
Subject: 11.2201 Re: Hecate
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2201 Re: Hecate

This comes from the brief introduction to Macbeth in the Oxford Complete
Works, compact edition, edited by Wells and Taylor:

But the first printed text, in the 1623 Folio, shows signs of having
been adapted at a later date. It is exceptionally short by comparison
with Shakespeare's other tragedies; and it includes episodes which there
is good reason to believe are not by Shakespeare. These are Act 3, Scene
5 and parts of Act 4, Scene 1: 38.1-60 and 141-8.1. These episodes
feature Hecate, who does not appear elsewhere in the play; they are
composed largely in octosyllabic couplets in a style conspicuously
different from the rest of the play; and they call for the performance
of two songs that are found in The Witch, a play of uncertain date by
Thomas Middleton.  Probably Midleton himself adapted Shakespeare's play
some years after its first performance. We do not attempt to excise
passages probably not written by Shakespeare, because the adapter's hand
may have affected the text at other, indeterminable points. The Folio
text of Macbeth cites only the opening words of the songs.

Comments?

Jack Heller
 

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