The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0145 Tuesday, 25 January 2005
Date: Monday, 24 Jan 2005 10:43:20 -0500
Subject: 16.0137 Macbeth Characters
Comment: Re: SHK 16.0137 Macbeth Characters
>I am apparently having a hard time getting across ......
> the third level concerns his "role," or his function within
>any given scene.
>As usual what I am trying to get at is how this was originally performed
>and perceived, whether or not it might play well now.
> this so-called Porter is another one of them spirits, who
>functions outwardly (while disguised), first as a Porter, then as a
>murderer, and so on, culminating in his named role as S-E-Y-T-O-N,
>phonetically speaking. The power behind the throne, so to speak.
Your exposition has been admirably clear. I don't know whether you will
be pleased or disappointed to hear that I have read similar analyses
before, and have seen small cast productions that used exactly this
functional doubling, including the satanic pronunciation of the Act V
character's name. It has been proposed that the structure/performance
of Morality plays were customarily underlined by doubling of this sort,
and the audience would recognize it.
Geralyn Horton, playwright
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