Date of Award

Spring 1933

Document Type



Languages & Literature


In the play Macbeth may he found much wealth of controversial matter. Perhaps the most fascinating problem of all is the question whether Macbeth came upon the contemplation of murdering Duncan unaided, or whether he was tempted in this respect either by supernatural agencies or by his wife. This question exists in virtue of the conflicting interpretation of two passages of the play. In I, III, it appears that Macbeth is tempted by the witches; in I,VII, that he had his evil purpose before he met them for the first time. Before approaching this problem the student must first determine, if he can, if Shakespeare was sufficiently interested in the complete character of Macbeth to give sufficient clues, whether the play is an integral whole, and whether several contradictions in it can be explained away by resorting to Shakespeare’a source.