The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0821 Thursday, 28 April 2005
From: Matthew Baynham <
Date: Thursday, 28 Apr 2005 09:03:00 GMT
Subject: Macbeth Questions
I've only just read John Drakakis's interesting post on 'swelling' in
Macbeth. I think it's more important, though, to mention that the word
is part of thematic pattern surrounding the dangers on augmentation and
multiplication. The increase from two to three, for example, will be
very specifically and mysteriously repeated in the increase from two to
three murderers. Good writes on this are James L Calderwood, who has
written something with the specific subtitle 'Augmentation and Increase
in Macbeth' and Tom McAlindon in Shakespeare's Tragis Cosmos.
I do think though that there is one swelling phallic joke early in the
play. When Duncan is suprised that Macbeth has got home [sc to his wife]
more quickly than expected, he says something like 'His great love,
sharp as a spur, hath holp him home' which I always think is a quite
natural sexual reading of Macbeth's motives. I've not read any editors
who mention this, but I'm sure someone must have.
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