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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: January ::
Macbeth Characters
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0145  Tuesday, 25 January 2005

From:           Geralyn Horton <
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Date:           Monday, 24 Jan 2005 10:43:20 -0500
Subject: 16.0137 Macbeth Characters
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0137 Macbeth Characters

John Reed <
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 >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
Newton, MA

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