Shakes Week 6 Notes
Shakes Week 6 Notes Eng 150B
Popular in Shakespeare: Later Plays
Popular in Foreign Language
This page Class Notes was uploaded by Alyssa Notetaker on Saturday November 7, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Eng 150B at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Robert Watson in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Shakespeare: Later Plays in Foreign Language at University of California - Los Angeles.
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Date Created: 11/07/15
Week Six Lecture 11 Macbeth and human nature And whether it s right to reshape the world to fit your personal desires The problem of being creatures who can always imagine something better 0 Combined with a conservative Christian system of values of accepting your place 0 Fundamental human nature that drives us to aspire is repressed by human constructs of social order Shortterm desires vs longterm good 0 Problems of letting shortterm desires shape the longterm o Macbeth as a fairytale for adults about the foolish wish and lack of a longterm good result Impulses oedipal ambitious evil impulses o Re ected onto the audience having wished for something more having impulses and or acting on them breaking social mores I Social mores betraying father parents siblings violence toward your guests EVOLUTIONARY COMPETITION o Whose offspring will dominate the future 0 This impulse to leave a legacy pushes the action forward 0 Competing for Scottish throne I To have own children succeed I 9 Deaths of Duncan Macduffs etc I Resentment of the authority figures those who have more than we do Implicates the audience Short v longterm o What it means to be human involves more than shortterm desires and aspirations evolutionary competition 0 But infantile desires are just as volatile as those that propel Macbeth I Macbeth as an Oedipus figure 178 12 242729 We but teach bloody instructions which being taught return to plague th inventorquot o Violating social order you pay for it o Overthrow a monarch another will likely overthrow you learn to do it from you 0 An ecological base I Humans as within nature part of a balance I Necessity to think beyond our own lifetimes in our actions Macbeth illustrates this they get their shortterm desires at the cost of their longterm desires and the balance of nature 0 Each time they violate the cycle of nature that cycle ends up excluding them 0 Cycle of night day parents children sleepingwaking seasons of generations Violating social natural structure divine intelligence punishes defends itself Macbeth in killing Duncan really kills the natural cycle 0 The stabs Look d like a breach in naturequot the line of life has been drained I Want people to believe Duncan was killed by his line his sons I Which is gainst nature stillquot Macbeth as a scapegoat for us 0 Encounters normal human re exes of desire but in a world where his dreams become reality 0 Macbeth is a representation of the logical costs of our frailties I We have terrible in uences even if we re generally good people seen in Hamlet too I So we are dangerous as Macbeth and Lady M are Getting wishes Disrupting nature backlash Macbeths get what they wants but in the process murder their own sleep 9 insomnia kill Duncan to secure own line but die without any heirs etc Wants the stars to hide disrupt cycle of light and dark separate the eye from him commit crime without being able to see it Lady M that my keen knife see not the wound it makesquot 0 Comes back to haunt them Macbeth can t see the dagger Lady M sees a nonexistent spot on her hands 0 Alienate outer nature alienating inner nature Ask for darkness 9 during day it s dark 0 Eclipse Clouds 0 That darkness does the face of earth entomb When living light should kiss itquot I Disrupting cycle of day and night life and death I Play has a very literal way of grasping onto what the Macbeths wish for Banquo foil tries to keep darkness from coming on o Tries to keep daylight alive against the encroaching darkness of the storm by using his torch 0 But the dark night strangles the traveling lampquot I Echoing unnaturalness of the murder I Macbeth as the darkness Banquo and Fleance as the last glimmers of the day I It will be rain tonightquot Banquo Let it comequot a murderer Macbeth and murder as the storm Banquo and Fleance as the light 0 By the murderers putting out the light though Fleance escapes I Cycle righting itself light escaping able to come back Macduff as unnatural in and of himself 0 Born with a Csection means the mother would have died I Untimely rippedquot instead of born of woman so he can kill Macbeth How can Macbeth suppress the cycles of nature Birnam Wood at Dunsinane nature coming back inevitably bringing balance of the natural cycles back When will the process of daylight be fully back in place 0 Macbeth s suppression of daylight I Symbol of his usurping the throne I Tactic in usurping the throne I Punishment of his usurpation of the throne 0 Same with his suppression of sleep I Tries to keep self awake symbol of rashly wishing living the shortterm dream I But later still can t sleep insomnia punishment What counts as a crime in morality o If you want to commit the crime and consider it Or only if you actually do it o Aristotle the good are those who content themselves with dreaming of that which the evil do I Macbeth imagines Duncan has evil dreams Murder and life 0 Duncan sleeps well in death where Macbeth has horrible nightmares inherited Duncan s dying nightmares endlessly o Macbeth actually committed his dream can t wake from the nightmare I All of a sudden something real a knock at the door I Hearts start pounding feel how Macbeth feels scared of his secret coming out trapped in the nightmare Wants to be out of the living nightmare Nightmare simulation of sleep without the benefits And Lady M sleepwalks living life in sleep without control Choices Gendered structures of society 0 Business success only if neglecting children etc That kind of constrictive function of the culture constant 2 ways for men to live in the world 0 Accept you exist within the cyclical renewal of the world I Banquo 0 Force your way change nature to suit what you want to happen make the world your own I Macbeth I Somehow can opt out of the natural system Macduff unnatural birth leaves family and so they are killed Weird mirror for Macbeth Cycle of vegetative life and reproduction Castle surrounded by symbols of fertility 0 But after kill Duncan Scotland starts drying up 0 Lack of lineation for Macbeth I No son I No heirs I No adherence to the natural course of things Birnam wood 0 Literal form of what he d understood metaphorically I Brings fertility back to the castle brings back nature to human pride and constructions comes back in the hands of the new generation Siward and other youths I Nature retaking sovereignty 0 And Macbeth is left out I Compares self to fallen leaf drying I Getting tired of the sun Wants no more life light time in the nightmare to end Calls life a walking shadowquot and then life comes back to Scotland and the castle as a walking shadowquot more literal Birnam wood pieces to camou age their numbers walk in shadow 0 Nature as a hereditary metaphor and nature as a metaphor for heredity I Make thee full of growingquot to mean train one to rule succeed the king I Seeds of Banquoquot and fear of seedlings Re ected when Birnam wood comes up to the castle I say which grain will growquot aka recognize who will succeed Possible interpretation of Dunsinane and the Wood 0 Dunsinane as everything human beings desire to make for and of themselves I Humanity manufactures against nature 0 Birnam Wood represents the endlessly persistent force of nature I Grind away at human efforts to change the world to their liking I More longterm here before us and will be here after us I Retakes the castle that took the land from it Semisupernatural Military ploy Also lesson on futility of human aspiration o Context of rapid deforestation just before setting of Macbeth for ships and housing I And again with iron smelting in Shakespeare s time I Major iron smelt built in Scotland the same year as Shakespeare made the play Is it a benevolent moral or running up against fundamental nature of humans Are we made to just live in nature or must we create our own world Play is ambivalent about this 0 On both sides 0 The battle is lost and wonquot the night is almost at odds with morningquot lots of murkiness 0 We can t completely pull Macbeth out of a category of recognition and so fear I At the start sel ess hero but that experience turns into a story of evil I What happens in this secondary moral Instances in which the play is ambiguous showing human nature to create unwillingly identify with Macbeth The secondary moral Diabolical set of observations toward Macbeth but also a whole other set of values 0 Human thought desires etc Articulate imaginative sensitive even as he is brutal Complex character villainy is related to many characteristics that make him human 0 Selfcanceling victories where is our transcendence I Shakespeare can see it both ways see the tragedy of human nature under the superficial tragedy of evil people I Structure of human nature as to take control of things But then where do the rules set in Where do you stop once you believe the rules don t apply to you Which moralities gods laws do you follow Great tragedy builds itself around contradictory imperatives o Provoking ambition but then punishing ambition I Play was written in context of changing religions changing values of right and wrong of who s legally punished for what 0 Where to draw the line between free will determination and going against the natural world God made I Ambition is valued by society but smothered by Protestant and Reformation theology I Also new social mobility after the end of feudalism And anonymity in London 9 Obligation to invent for themselves who they will be 9 Elizabethan and Iacobean laws trying to restrict everyone from taking control I What is necessary and what is sinful How to believe in a God that punishes what makes humans human Our imagination and ability to artfully create ourselves 0 Don t want to be told everything you do to make the world better change your world is a crime like Macbeth s that selfishly disrupts the world 0 Do we have the right to be fully human or does nature defeat us Lots of doubling 0 He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust enter Macbeth O worthiest cousinquot I quotWasquot yet currently greets Macbeth well as trustworthy and just plain worthy 0 Weird sisters quotwhen the battle s lost and wonquot 0 Lady M My hands are of your color bloody but I shame to wear a heart so whitequot 0 quotFiend of Scotlandquot and quothis fiendlike queenquot o Macbeth saying what the men in the chambers said in sleep one said murther while others said quotgod bless usquot and Amen o Macbeth from single state of manquot to quotbetter part of manquot 0 Weird sisters Fair is foul and foul is fairquot Lecture 12 Reciprocity of gender Lady M at start very masculine 0 At end9 almost too feminine how much perfume to make hands smell good preoccupied with complexion of skin M at start blood seems to almost make him sick 0 At end9 blood is tedious Weird sisters Weir fate are they telling fate or actually just weird Film Throne of Blood Craze for samurai films mid1950s Late medieval early renaissance time but in Japan 0 Period of war lords series of overthrows Filmed in Japan postWWII 0 Lots of current issues of military collective movement into cargo culture of Americanism I Division between tradition of collectivist ideology and a more contemporary view of asserting individualism I Just like in Macbeth Throne of Blood Always going uphill Shots of characters through trees focus shifting between them 0 Natural world remains entangled in the story 0 Characters shooting into the trees to try to get out of the forest Witches one witch figure spinning wheel 0 Cyclical nature of life 0 Looks a bit like a movie projector metacinematic 0 Death will reign man dies in vainquot Scene with Macbeth Washizu and Banquo Miki figures riding horses in circles constantly turning around and not getting anywhere in the fog o Futility of human action when you can t see the landscape Scene where Banquo and Macbeth converse o Sitting in front of castle with weapons on ground pointing at each other 0 Tense laughter followed by awkward silence Change in backstory Duncan figure killed his predecessor Lady Asaji Lady M figure 0 Stoic sits totally still constantly looking down as Macbeth sits stands and walks 0 She almost seems a figure of his imagination no movement or life to her I Reads as passivity but her words show more I What if he knew what was in your heartquot I Macbeth claims no such treason is in his heart she turns and smiles at him Her first real motion 0 Power and passion is in her words not her body Setting of grids o Cagey shelter in which the witch was grids of paper windows in the castle etc o Macbeth is always in front of them caught in the grids Shot of Lady M and Macbeth her top half as she sits his hands and lower half as he walks 0 Like one body her brains and his brawn Macbeth figure takes over the Thane of Cawdor figure embodies him 0 Defeats him takes over the room in which he committed suicide and where the stain of blood still remains o Macbeth becomes Thane of Cawdor in the film he becomes the lord of Cawdorfigure s old place sleeps in his rooms will also try to usurp Duncan s throne Chaos of the death of a leader all the banners ying around and yelling o Impossible dilemmas of the human situation Interpersonal dynamics and dynamics of society