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Lecture 36

ENGL 4723 Lecture 36: Macbeth Notes (Week 13)

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ENGL 4723
Edward J Jones

Macbeth Incredibly well-paced—Shakespeare learned a lot in writing for the theatre—theatricality: write by design to enhance theatric performance, taking advantage of setting—what is Shakespeare’s theory of art? Midsummer Night’s Dream (language adaptation, potion, playacting), Macbeth (prophecy and fate). Interrogations—first line of each scene in Act I asks a question (answerable or subjects being interrogated?) SC 1: time. SC 2: person/identity. SC 3: location. SC 4: justice. SC 5: no questions, answer (Macbeth tells the truth). Not accidental, questioning on purpose. Witches: “fair is foul and foul is fair” math, is/=. Reversing equation. Two subjects that seem set, but really are variable—prophecy: Macbeth and killing King—not straightforward. Banquo—witches don’t always mean well, get you to do things that otherwise you wouldn’t do. Accept witches world view? Trust them? Reliability? Potential for error? Act I end—Macbeth endorsed the witches? Already bought into it. Wavered, then set himself to this formula—beginning Macbeth is spellbound by witches, Banquo is weary, Macbeth was fair, now he turns foul—must get rid of Malcolm to become king—gets the Cawdor title by doing the right thing (fair), but title makes Macbeth want throne by ill means (foul). Important image—clothes. (borrowed robes) attire and whether or not someone should be wearing a garment. Designed to create an outward appearance that may not be backe dup by what is underneath—clothes protect and conceal—DISGUISE. Theatricality—study in homicide—profile of a murderer (a different view)—stunning theatrical devices (kerchief in Othello, disguises in Lear) fair and foul idea, three sisters—great way to navigate the play—Macbeth and Lady Macbeth making comments. Is the n
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