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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: June ::
Tiger References in Macbeth
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1336  Tuesday, 22 June 2004

[1]     From:   Pamela Richards <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Jun 2004 07:09:44 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1322 Tiger References in Macbeth

[2]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Jun 2004 05:52:58 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1322 Tiger References in Macbeth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pamela Richards <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Jun 2004 07:09:44 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 15.1322 Tiger References in Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1322 Tiger References in Macbeth

Sean Lawrence writes:

 >I believe that every captain is by definition a
 >sailor.  The term,
 >according to the OED, means "One who is
 >professionally occupied with
 >navigation; a seaman, mariner."  Only secondarily
 >does it indicate a
 >particular rank.
 >
 >Moreover, the captain is not necessarily the master.
 >The OED (s.v.,
 >"Master", n1, 7) cites a stage direction of the 1st
 >Part of the
 >Contention in which they enter as separate
 >characters.  Under "Captain"
 >(n6) it cites a man named Smith referring to how a
 >Captain gives orders
 >to a master.

Thank you Sean, for that useful and well-documented correction.  I also
enjoyed William Hamlin's concise contribution.

I wonder, though if a double-meaning for "master o' th' Tyger" could
still apply, making the phrase a pun on the witch's part: describing
both the relationship of the husband/master to the ship (which is
traditionally feminine) and husband/master to the Tygre (his irascible
wife?).  My mind searches for a reference to an emphasis on a connection
between the wife and her husband which will elucidate the basis of the
witch's supernatural attack--if not for the emphasis on the connection
between the two, we to some degree lose the significance of her attack
on the husband rather than the wife.

But maybe the actions of witches can be assumed to be beyond
comprehension after all!

Regards,
Pamela Richards

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Jun 2004 05:52:58 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 15.1322 Tiger References in Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1322 Tiger References in Macbeth

William Hamlin writes, "Hakluyt's Principal Navigations includes an
account of 'The voyage of M. Ralph Fitch . . . in the yeere of our Lord
1583' which refers to "a ship of London called the Tyger, wherein we
went for Tripolis in Syria: & from thence we tooke the way for Aleppo"
(5:465). This may be a source for one of the Weird Sisters' speeches:
"Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' th' Tiger."

OK: sounds *derivative* to me!  If not, there might be an *intervening*
source.  At any rate, when a grad student, I did research on Edgar Allan
Poe's *The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym* and with parallel passages
*proved* that Poe plagiarized huge chunks of a travel book by a sea
captain.  It proved more than of passing interest for the plagiarism
aspects inasmuch as Poe, who owned slaves, recast the original sea
captain's benign descriptions of natives into less-than flattering
descriptions of African-Americans, with particularly stereotypical
depictions of his own making *not* found in the derivative work itself.
  In that vein, it might prove interesting to do parallel passages of
Will S. and Fitch, if such exist, and see where it leads for scholarship.

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

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