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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: March ::
Re: Macbeth Witches
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0641  Friday, 16 March 2001

From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Friday, 16 Mar 2001 00:14:07 -0500
Subject: 12.0585 Re: Macbeth Witches
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0585 Re: Macbeth Witches

I looked, but I can't find the footnote that identified the story of the
chestnuts as a conventional folk tale about witches.  It implied to me
that people trying to explain bad things that happened to them often
recalled some incident in which a poor old woman asked them for a minor
favor which they refused (this was probably a frequent occurrence given
the common disenfranchisement of widows and older unmarried women).  The
logical conclusion is that she was a witch, and throwing her in the
nearest lake would be a good way to ensure that such bad things didn't
happen in future.

Clifford Stetner
CUNY
http://phoenix.liu.edu/~cstetner/cds.html
 

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