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Macbeth Glossary
prosperous gentleman (1.3.76)

This passage is perplexing because Macbeth still refers to the sitting Thane of Cawdor as a "gentleman" (76), and he seems baffled by the possibility of Cawdor losing his title, even though he has just returned victorious from a battle with the King of Norway, who was assisted by the traitorous Thane of Cawdor.

Could it be that Shakespeare intended Macbeth to be unaware of the Thane of Cawdor assisting Norway? Perhaps, but this does not explain how Angus does not know why Cawdor is about to be executed for treason. Later in 1.3, Angus says, "Whether he [Cawdor] was combin'd with those of Norway...I know not" (115), but yet he was with Ross when they delivered the news that Norway was indeed "Assisted by that most disloyal traitor/The thane of Cawdor" in 1.2. This lack of continuity could be the result of 1.2 being revised by someone other than Shakespeare. Thomas Middleton is the popular candidate because scholars now accept that the whole of 3.5 was likely added by Middleton, and the song fragment Hecate sings in lines 33-4 can be found in full in Middleton's play, The Witch.

Back to Macbeth (1.3)


Related Articles

 Macbeth: The Annotated Play
 Macbeth Character Introduction

 Soliloquy Analysis: If it were done when 'tis done (1.7.1-29)
 Soliloquy Analysis: Is this a dagger (2.1.33-61)
 Soliloquy Analysis: To be thus is nothing (3.1.47-71)
 Soliloquy Analysis: She should have died hereafter (5.5.17-28)

 Explanatory Notes for Lady Macbeth's Soliloquy (1.5)
 Explanatory Notes for the Witches' Chants (4.1)

 Macbeth Plot Summary (Acts 1 and 2)
 Macbeth Plot Summary (Acts 3, 4 and 5)

 The Curse of Macbeth
 Shakespeare's Sources for Macbeth
 Macbeth Q & A
 Macbeth Study Quiz (with detailed answers)
 Quotations from Macbeth (Full)
 Top 10 Quotations from Macbeth
 Metaphors in Macbeth (Biblical)

 Shakespeare's Writing Style
 Shakespeare's Language
 Shakespeare's Metaphors and Similes
 Shakespeare's Reputation in Elizabethan England
 Shakespeare's Impact on Other Writers
 Why Study Shakespeare?

 Quotations About William Shakespeare
 Shakespeare's Boss


How to cite this article:

Mabillard, Amanda. Macbeth Glossary. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. (date when you accessed the information) <
/macbeth/macbethglossary/macbeth1_1/macbethglos_prosperous.html >.