Tuesday, November 27, 2012
MacBeths lines spoken to himself when he is considering killing Duncan struck me as particularly odd. This whole idea of double trust seemed an odd expression, so much so that it distracted my reading. What did Macbeth mean, "double trust"? Are there different kinds of trusts? It seems that within the context of the play there are. In context, Duncan places his trust in MacBeth for several reasons; MacBeth is an old friend, as indicated by the start of the play. MacBeth has thus been a loyal servant, a good soldier. We have no reason to think that Duncan thinks anything other than high thoughts about the titular character of the play. Then there is another sort of trust, the trust between host and visitor. Particularly in high society, social grace and protocol are very important. One does not go about murdering ones guests. Duncan there for will have his defenses down.
While this phrase is interesting in its own right, it also illuminates a thread that I perceived running through out the play. The idea of different kinds of trusts seems to point to different kinds of duties and commitments. How are ones duty's as a husband different that ones duties as a lord? How are the two ranked? Is there an over lap. If Shakespeare is suggesting that something is amiss, at its root it seems to come from one stepping outside the realm of ones duty, a usual trope in the Shakespeare play. This seems to suggest that Shakespeare is not an advocate of change, but in fact in favor of the societal status quo. Given what we've learned about Shakespeares biography in class, this view seems to hold. He was writing for the royal audience, after all. However it was very interesting to see such a firm apparition of this role in this text.