The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0047  Tuesday, 9 January 2001

From:           Paul Swanson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday 08 Jan 2001 18:38:17 -0500
Subject:        Lady Macbeth's Murder

Greetings All:

Has anyone ever seen a production or read any criticism in which Lady
Macbeth's death is not a suicide, but rather, Macbeth is implicated in
her murder?

My wife and I are having an ongoing discussion about this. The idea that
Macbeth either murdered Lady Macbeth or had her murdered seems to me an
entirely speculative and unsubstantiated one. I do grant, however, that
the only reference we have to her death is Malcolm's characterization of
her as a "fiend-like queen / Who (as 'tis thought) by self and violent
hands, Took off her life" (5.9.35-36), and Malcolm was yet to arrive at
Dunsinane at the time of her death and could not really know with any
certainty the particulars of Lady Macbeth's death.

Is there any basis for suspecting Macbeth of Lady Macbeth's murder? Any
thoughts would be appreciated, both for my own contemplation and the
healthy state of my marital conversations.

Paul Swanson

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