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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: January ::
Macbeth Characters
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0115  Thursday, 20 January 2005

From:           John Reed <
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Date:           Wednesday, 19 Jan 2005 21:18:42 -0800
Subject:        Re: Macbeth Characters

I expose myself to ridicule all the time owing to my untoward ideas, but
most people in this forum at any rate are usually too well educated or
too gentlemanly (taking the word gentleman to apply equally to males,
females, hermaphrodites, transsexuals, cross-dressers, superfemales,
aliens, artificially intelligent, or any other kind of sentient being we
might care to imagine) to point it out.  Too polite, also.

That Satan (I mean the Porter) is a rather low class person doesn't faze
me.  It might be possible to demolish this objection - very easily
possible (I always wanted to say that).  That it might be possible to
characterize any of these characters as being unitarian enough so that
they could be described with the phrase they is something might be much
harder.  It supposes they is something, to begin with.  But most of
these characters are a changeable lot (even if they aren't portrayed
that way on the stage): they oscillate about some state of mind or other
within scenes, and some of them, when taking the whole play into
account, change a whole lot.  Take Macbeth for instance.  He becomes
more morally corrupt as time goes on leading to a dusty death, if he's
lucky.  So the Porter/Murderer starts off socially lowly, and in a kind
of counterbalancing motion, becomes more socially prominent, achieving
status as a royal counselor, and, perhaps, a certain power behind the
throne, or the Fall.  Might be analogous to Sauron in Numenor, re:
Ar-Pharazon, only less obvious, possibly almost symbolic.

Good objection, though; I might not have thought of this countermotion
otherwise.

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