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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: July ::
The Wyntoun "Discovery"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0448  Thursday, 5 July 2007

From: 		Sean B. Palmer <
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Date: 		Thursday, 5 Jul 2007 11:12:52 +0100
Subject: 	The Wyntoun "Discovery"

In my reply to SHK 18.0440 I refer to the recent news story of the 
discovery of Wyntoun as a source for Macbeth [1]. Terje Bless has 
pointed me to a thorough debunking [2] of this story by one blogger 
already-it seems almost to be a repeat of the hype that surrounded "To 
the Queen by the Players".

The news article seems to argue that there is source information in 
Wyntoun that is not in Holinshed, and specifically refers to the mention 
of Macbeth not being able to be killed by anyone born of a woman and the 
three prophetic lines of the Weird Sisters; but both of these are in 
Holinshed. Since the article doesn't actually mention Holinshed, on the 
other hand, perhaps we may be forgiven for suspecting journalistic 
subterfuge or ignorance.

The shift of hand is the claim attributed to Fiona Watson that 
Shakespeare lifted "almost word for word in places" from Wyntoun. Did 
Watson and Rourke really have any point to make about derivation of the 
story directly from Wyntoun before it got filtered through the reporter, 
Eben Harrell, or is this mere stuff and nonsense? Upon whom do the 
errors lie?

Sadly I did not hear the radio show that the article pertains to, and it 
no longer seems to be available on the BBC Radio website.

[1] http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=951172007
[2] http://www.shakespeareteacher.com/blog/archives/241

Sean B. Palmer, http://inamidst.com/sbp/

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