Examine the arguments of those who object to the Porter's monologue in Macbeth and to the succeeding dialogue between and Macduff.

Essay by nirmalya28C, April 2004

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In every great piece of literary work, two aspects can be found. One deals with different values and incidents from the contemporary society while the other reflects eternal and universal values in them. But the more interesting

fact is that these two aspects can lie hidden in a single piece of work.

Shakespearean dramas are also no exception. Besides, these dramas, in them, have a few scenes that appear to provoke laughter but underneath lie a deep message from the dramatist which reveals the spirit of the drama, or at least, the spirit of the scene concerned. So it is not unnatural that some of the critics should trace only one aspect while the other remains rather obscure.

And precisely this is why there are so many contradictory criticisms about some such scenes of this great Elizabethan dramatist.

One such controversial scene is the so-called Porter scene in Macbeth-(Act II; Scene III).

There are many critics who are of the opinion that the Porter scene, in its style and the coarseness, is un-Shakespearean. This group of

critics is headed by Coleridge who says , "This low soliloquy of Porter and his few speeches afterwards I believe to have been written for the mob by some other hand, perhaps with Shakespeare's consent: and that finding it he with the remaining ink of a pen otherwise employed just interpolated the words

' I'll devil porter it no further. I had thought to have in some of all professions, that go the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire' "

Anyway, Coleridge's criticism has not been generally accepted. The Clarendon editors considered this scene to have been interpolated by Middleton and they think it to be strangely out of place amid the tragic horrors which surround it.

Both of these criticisms, anyway can be...