'Macbeth' - Two Notes

Ann Parker


Modern editors of Macbeth usually adopt Theobald's substitution of "shoal" for the Folio's "Schoole" in I. vii. 6-7: "But heere, vpon this Banke and Schoole of time,/Wee'ld iumpe the life to come". The reasons for accepting this substitution seem to be logical and linguistic: one may be upon a bank (in the sense of a bench) but hardly upon a school; "bank and shoal" appears to provide, in consequence, a necessary and inescapable elucidation of a difficult passage, especially with the listing in OED of "school" as a variant spelling of "shoal". The emendation has not been free, however, of problems.

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