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To think Macduff was born from a woman who had a C section

(28 Posts)
armpitz Sat 25-Mar-17 23:30:36

Which is hardly the same as not being born from a woman?

What the chuff does Macbeth mean then ?

Have always wondered.

ExitPursuedByUser54321 Sat 25-Mar-17 23:32:11

Erm. Obviously a c section.

And ......

ATruthUniversallyAcknowledged Sat 25-Mar-17 23:33:22

It's a plot device, 'tis all.

BertrandRussell Sat 25-Mar-17 23:33:36

"From my mother's womb untimely ript"

It was a while ago! Even now there are dickheads who say that having a c section is not giving birth properly.

armpitz Sat 25-Mar-17 23:33:46

Yes but it is 'none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.'

Then Macduff appears and 'was from his mothers womb untimely ripped.'

And Macbeth shits himself.

But she's still a woman! grin

Awwlookatmybabyspider Sat 25-Mar-17 23:34:00

To quote Manuel.
Or Mowgli. Gee, I don't even know what you're talking about.grin

SexTrainGlue Sat 25-Mar-17 23:34:29

It does mean CS, but back then it was seriously rare because the mother did not survive.

So it means she died in labour and her corpse was ripped open in last-ditch effort to save the infant.

armpitz Sat 25-Mar-17 23:35:30

Hmm, I'd still argue she was female, though. The only thing I can think of is that 'woman' was synonymous with 'vagina', a bit like manhood and penis.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 25-Mar-17 23:35:56

She's a woman but he wasn't 'born' he was ripped out.

Don't think c-section was a standard way of being born, at the time.

armpitz Sat 25-Mar-17 23:36:29

Ah so the emphasis is on 'born' rather than 'woman.' Nice one, Lottie

UnmentionedElephantDildo Sat 25-Mar-17 23:39:52

Yes, she was a woman.

But she did not give birth to him because she was (probably) dead by that point.

And it was deliberately tricksy language as it was needed as a plot device. The trick being about 'born' not about there being a woman.

chastenedButStillSmiling Sat 25-Mar-17 23:41:10

The emphasis was definitely on the "ripped out". This isn't Shakespeare being all transgender! It's made very obvious that McB can only be killed by someone who isn't born vaginally. He thinks this makes him immortal. Then he finds out that Macduff was c'section, and then realizes his demise just before it happens.

(I'm not anti-trans! I just did this play in school and know it well! I've also acted in it [am-dram, I'm not Ian McKellen!])

armpitz Sat 25-Mar-17 23:42:47

I bet you are wink IAN!

This all makes sense to me now. I was most confused thinking 'but even if she's dead, she's a woman' but taking the emphasis from woman to born changes all that. No wonder Macbeth was fooled.

TinfoilHattie Sat 25-Mar-17 23:44:30

Agree that it's nothing to do with trans.

Witches say to Macbeth - you only have to worry about a man who wasn't born from a woman.

Macbeth - don't need to worry then as that's a biological impossibility.

Witches (later on for dramatic conclusion): a-ha! Macduff was "ripped from the womb" so wasn't born!!

Same as Dunsinane Wood walking - the trees didn't move, it was soldiers with branches on their heads. All tricky plot devices to heighten tension.

user1490123259 Sat 25-Mar-17 23:45:23

he wasn't born of a living woman, he was cut from a corpse.

Catgirl83 Sat 25-Mar-17 23:47:13

As chastened said. The witches' predictions all lead Macbeth to believe he can't be beaten because of the improbability of them.

armpitz Sat 25-Mar-17 23:48:20

See it's a good thing I wasn't living then. They'd have fooled me, too. I would have been as Macbeth was 'oh, ha! No one can hurt ME, then!'

PickAChew Sat 25-Mar-17 23:48:22

It's not the newest of theories.

Studied Macbeth back in the 80s.

armpitz Sat 25-Mar-17 23:50:27

No, but it has mildly mystified me for many days smile

TeslasDeathRay Sat 25-Mar-17 23:57:21

What Lottie said. C-sections were mainly used to save the baby so they could baptise them a hurry in case they died, or if the mother had already passed.

DistanceCall Sun 26-Mar-17 00:01:40

Saint Raymond Nonnatus was so called because he was also "non-born".

It's nothing new. Only now women can actually survive the procedure.

chastenedButStillSmiling Sun 26-Mar-17 00:02:37

Please call me Sir Ian

(reference to him being in "Extras". One of the funniest episodes EVER because he's so left-wing!)

JovialNickname Sun 26-Mar-17 00:25:03

"No man of woman born shall harm Macbeth"

Of course it is a plot device.... Macduff was from his mother's womb "untimely ripp'd" ie yes a cesarean (apologies for poor spelling)

It is from another time and therefore does not stand up to scrutiny by today's standards (as in of course he was born of woman)

It is simply an example of the self deceit Macbeth employs whilst engaging in his "o'er vaulting ambition" - that which is truth is hidden from him, through his own volition.

(The quotes may be - and are likely - wrong as I have written them from memory)

Sittinginthesun Sun 26-Mar-17 00:31:20

I think Henry VIII's 3rd wife, Jane Seymour, die in similar circumstances? I'm sure she had a c section, and died as a result?

Sittinginthesun Sun 26-Mar-17 00:33:02

Sorry, obviously not Shakespeare, but I always thought it must have been a relatively common event for Shakespeare to use it as a plot device.

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