Seniors: More Christian literary theory

We continued our theme of looking at Macbeth through Christian literary theory, beginning class with a reading that emphasized one of the main problems of using this lens on Macbeth: it’s just too simplistic.

Here’s a link to the article:

On Monday we’ll start with your group giving an example of where we see a reference or allusion to Christian theology or history in your assigned scene. We got a good example in class today when Peter’s group (with an assist from Leslie and someone else – sorry I forgot who!) showed that the line about the bell that “summons [Macbeth] to heaven or hell” (II.i.62) connects well to the chain of being we learned about yesterday. Obviously, killing someone (especially with a divine connection like a king) would send Macbeth to hell, but if Macbeth is able to take the throne, then he’d go to heaven because he’d be king and therefore also divine. Make sense?

Not every scene will have lines as easy to spot as that, but they all will have some references. Even things like calling the king “Your Grace” or “My lord” would fit in with this idea.

Start thinking about your response paper for Tuesday. Here are a couple ideas if you’re still looking for something to write about:

-Christian theology and Macbeth
-Macbeth’s “full” destiny from the witches
-Macbeth’s obsession with other peoples’ families (Banquo and Macduff)
-Macbeth’s bad trip
-“He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear/His hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace and fear./And you all know, security/is mortals’ chiefest enemy” (III.v.30)
-Banquo’s murder


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