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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: January ::
Macbeth Characters
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0174  Thursday, 27 January 2005

[1]     From:   Mary Todd <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 26 Jan 2005 13:46:36 -0500
        Subj:   Third Murderer

[2]     From:   Alan J. Sanders <
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        Date:   Wed, 26 Jan 2005 11:10:36 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0158 Macbeth Characters

[3]     From:   Matthew Baynham <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jan 2005 09:47:45 -0000
        Subj:   Macbeth characters


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Todd <
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Date:           Wednesday, 26 Jan 2005 13:46:36 -0500
Subject:        Third Murderer

My reading of Goddard says that Shakespeare wanted us to think of
Macbeth's "presence" in that scene, but not necessarily his physical
appearance.  He points out that what Shakespeare wanted "was not to make
a bald identification of the two men but to produce precisely the effect
. . . that there is something strange and spectral about the Third
Murderer" that leaves the spirit of Macbeth looming over the scene.  A
quick reading of his essay lists the six reasons that the identification
with Macbeth seems inescapable.  Goddard makes a compelling case.   He
does not, however, insist that we see the literal Macbeth join the thugs
he has hired.  The effectiveness of the association is profound.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alan J. Sanders <
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Date:           Wed, 26 Jan 2005 11:10:36 -0500
Subject: 16.0158 Macbeth Characters
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0158 Macbeth Characters

Though I have heard this theory and read it as a potential staging in
Marvin Rosenberg's "The Masks of Macbeth", I have a serious issue with
this.  If we entertain this notion, why does Macbeth act as if he is
unaware of Fleance's escape?  Why is he jovial at the sight of the
muderer and the news of Banquo's death but then "comes his fit again" at
the news that the son escaped?

Having the Porter play Seyton makes for a much more interesting
interpretation.

A.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Baynham <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Jan 2005 09:47:45 -0000
Subject:        Macbeth characters

I shouldn't get into this (never stopped me before) but I think that the
doubling of Seyton and the Third Murderer is more viable than doubling
of the Porter with Third Murderer and/or Seyton. Malvolio would have
said, I think, that the Porter and Seyton are not of the same element -
and he'd have been right.

But what the heck: let's have a Third Murderer thread - the old ones are
best!

Matthew Baynham

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