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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: January ::
Macduff
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0222  Monday, 28 January 2002

From:           Ed Kranz <
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Date:           Sunday, 27 Jan 2002 16:27:27 -0500
Subject:        Macduff

In Act 4 Sc 2 of Macbeth Lady Macduff suggests that it was fear that led
Macduff to flee (l. 4),Ross responds (l. 5) "You know not Whether it was
his wisdom or his fear" to which Lady Macduff responds:

Wisdom! to leave his wife, to leave his babes,
His mansion and his titles in a place
From whence himself does fly? He loves us not;
He wants the natural touch: for the poor wren,
The most diminutive of birds, will fight,
Her young ones in her nest, against the owl.
All is the fear and nothing is the love;
As little is the wisdom, where the flight
So runs against all reason.

Auden in his Lectures on Shakespeare suggests that "Some material must
have dropped out of  the text involving Macduff's uncertainty as to
which side he would be on." and then asks, "Considering Macbeth's (sic)
character why does he act in this completely crazy way ?" Does anyone
have an answer to this question?

Ed Kranz

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