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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: February ::
Middleton and Macbeth
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0523  Tuesday, 24 February 2004

[1]     From:   Ben Spiller <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Feb 2004 13:25:49 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0500 Middleton and Macbeth

[2]     From:   W.L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Feb 2004 15:04:02 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0500 Middleton and Macbeth

[3]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Feb 2004 15:21:12 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0500 Middleton and Macbeth

[4]     From:   John Reed <
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        Date:   Saturday, 21 Feb 2004 11:32:50 -0800
        Subj:   Reply to Middleton and Macbeth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ben Spiller <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Feb 2004 13:25:49 -0000
Subject: 15.0500 Middleton and Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0500 Middleton and Macbeth

Dear William,

Have a look at Middleton's The Witch and you will see some interesting
similarities between Middleton's play and Macbeth, most notably the song
sung by Shakespeare's weird sisters and Middleton's witches.

Hope that provides a useful starting-point.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W.L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Feb 2004 15:04:02 -0500
Subject: 15.0500 Middleton and Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0500 Middleton and Macbeth

You may wish to start with Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, William
Shakespeare: A Textual Companion, p. 129.  Some critics, however, seem
to forget that Middleston's The Witch is a comedy (or at least I think
so) while Shakespeare's Macbeth is a tragedy, and conflating the two
seems inappropriate -- to me.

Bill Godshalk

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Feb 2004 15:21:12 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 15.0500 Middleton and Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0500 Middleton and Macbeth

For a brief description of how Middleton comes to be associated with
Macbeth, examine the introduction to Macbeth in the Complete Pelican
Shakespeare, ed. Orgel and Braunmuller. In short, the idea is that songs
called for in the witch scenes have their earliest manuscript form in
Middleton's play The Witch.

Jack Heller
Huntington College

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Reed <
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Date:           Saturday, 21 Feb 2004 11:32:50 -0800
Subject:        Reply to Middleton and Macbeth

The question of the authenticity of the Hecate scenes in Macbeth has
been hanging around for more than two hundred years, and is referred to
by many writers.  But none of them (at least the ones I have seen for
myself) seem to be vary careful (there are a lot of passing references).
  I've tried a couple of times to write a paper analyzing this, but it
requires a lot of time to chase down all the myriad references; more
time than I have.  I will list some of them I've turned up here, though.

For what it's worth, I believe the Hecate scenes to be completely
authentic, and everyone who suggests otherwise doesn't know what he's
talking about (ha, ha, ha).  My favorite quote is the following, from Fleay:

"She [Hecate] and her songs...are the sediment of Middleton's puddle,
not the sparkling foam of the living waters of Shakespeare."

Can you believe that?  Imagine the nerve.  I mean honestly.

References

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Auden, W.H. Lectures on Shakespeare. Ed. Arthur Kirsch.  Princeton:
Princeton UP, 2000.

Bartholomeusz, Dennis.  Macbeth and the Players. Cambridge: Cambridge
UP, 1984.

Battenhouse, Roy. Shakespeare's Christian Dimension. Bloomington:
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Bloom, Harold.  Shakespeare. The Invention of the Human.  New York:
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Clark, William G., and William A. Wright. The Clarendon Press Series.
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Cormican, L.A. "Medieval Idiom in Shakespeare." Scrutiny 17(1951), p.
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Flachmann, Michael. "Professional Theater People and English Teachers."
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Edward Malone. London: 1821. Reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1966.

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Morris, Brian. "The kingdom, the power, and the glory in Macbeth." in
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