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Everyman
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Re: Macbeth: Heroic Criminal or Criminal Hero?



Choisya wrote:
That link did not work Everyman - could you post it again. Thanks.




Everyman wrote:
Who really killed Duncan? Here's one viewpoint:
http://www.sd84.k12.id.us/SHS/departments/Language/edaniels/English%20IV%20(H)/Macbeth/MacbethThurber.htm







Try this:
http://tinyurl.com/29ohme
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Choisya
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Re: Macbeth: Real or fictional heroic Criminal or Criminal Hero?

Leaders then were in the thick of battles and if Macbeth was intent on gaining the throne by this method, he would have had to be certain of killing Duncan himself, I think. Was Shakespeare slandering Macbeth if he believed Holinshed's account? This is rather like the More/Richard III argument (and don't let us get into that again!:smileysurprised:). Macbeth and Richard III were slandered but it seems to be lost in the mists of time as to who was the first slanderer. If Shakespeare had known 'the truth' he might not have found it a fit subject for a tragedy and that would have been our loss.:smileyhappy:

The Macbeth of history appears to have been a hero on the battlefield, the Macbeth of Shakespeare seems to have become a criminal and to have lost his original brave, noble and heroic status - hubris to nemesis.




Everyman wrote:


Choisya wrote:
According to the BBC link I gave, and they are usually accurate, Macbeth killed Duncan I in August 1040 in a battle near Elgin.

I agree that that's the more common version, though not, as the link I posted points out, not the only version.

We also have to keep in mind that often the activities of an army are personified in the name of the leading general, so that actions attributed to the general might have been carried out by somebody else.

But whatever the truth, which may never be known with certainty, it seems certain that Macbeth did not kill Duncan in his sleep, and that Lady Macbeth had nothing to do with it. Which makes the play a wonderful tragedy but, as I noted before, a slander on Macbeth's good name, killing somebody in his sleep being dishonorable at the time but killing somebody in battle more often being a glorious and noble feat of arms.

Shakespeare -- trasher of reputations!


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Everyman
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Re: Macbeth: Real or fictional heroic Criminal or Criminal Hero?



Choisya wrote:
Was Shakespeare slandering Macbeth if he believed Holinshed's account?

Holinshed's account was of death in battle, not of murder in bed. The murder in the castle was made up out of whole cloth (actually, of an incident which actually happened but which involved two totally different people). So yes, even if he took Holihshed at face value, to accuse M of cold blooded murder of a kinsman and guest in his home was indeed slander.
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Everyman
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Re: Macbeth: Real or fictional heroic Criminal or Criminal Hero?



Everyman wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Was Shakespeare slandering Macbeth if he believed Holinshed's account?

Holinshed's account was of death in battle, not of murder in bed. The murder in the castle was made up out of whole cloth (actually, of an incident which actually happened but which involved two totally different people). So yes, even if he took Holihshed at face value, to accuse M of cold blooded murder of a kinsman and guest in his home was indeed slander.


And what's more, if he believed Holihshed's account, he whitewashed Banquo, who was per H part of the plot, and totally slandered Lady M, who had nothing to do with the killing or covering it up or anything other than perhaps hoping for Duncan's death.

No, I fear that S had no regard for historical truth or the reputations of the people he was slandering or whitewashing. Which is okay as long as we recognize that he is writing fiction that is false to truth, but we should not pretend that he has any respect for historical truth.
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Choisya
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Re: Macbeth: Real or fictional heroic Criminal or Criminal Hero? (Off topic)

I would never assume that any author writing fiction was writing historical truth, not even if they have fully researched their stories. Fiction begets fictions IMO. And this is why historical novels, entertaining though they are, should not be relied upon for historical facts. I do not blame Shakespeare for any of his fanciful forays into British history - he tells a darn good tale and that's all that matters to me.:smileyhappy:




Everyman wrote:


Everyman wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Was Shakespeare slandering Macbeth if he believed Holinshed's account?

Holinshed's account was of death in battle, not of murder in bed. The murder in the castle was made up out of whole cloth (actually, of an incident which actually happened but which involved two totally different people). So yes, even if he took Holihshed at face value, to accuse M of cold blooded murder of a kinsman and guest in his home was indeed slander.


And what's more, if he believed Holihshed's account, he whitewashed Banquo, who was per H part of the plot, and totally slandered Lady M, who had nothing to do with the killing or covering it up or anything other than perhaps hoping for Duncan's death.

No, I fear that S had no regard for historical truth or the reputations of the people he was slandering or whitewashing. Which is okay as long as we recognize that he is writing fiction that is false to truth, but we should not pretend that he has any respect for historical truth.


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Everyman
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Re: Macbeth: Real or fictional heroic Criminal or Criminal Hero? (Off topic)



Choisya wrote:
I would never assume that any author writing fiction was writing historical truth, not even if they have fully researched their stories.

Well, for myself I think that if authors use specific people who have led actual lives as characters in their books, they should be as true as possible to the facts of their lives.
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Choisya
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Re: Macbeth: Real or fictional heroic Criminal or Criminal Hero? (Off topic)

That would be to rewrite a great deal of fiction from the Greeks onwards (and probably before!) :smileysurprised::smileysurprised:




Everyman wrote:


Choisya wrote:
I would never assume that any author writing fiction was writing historical truth, not even if they have fully researched their stories.

Well, for myself I think that if authors use specific people who have led actual lives as characters in their books, they should be as true as possible to the facts of their lives.


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