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Author Topic: What is the significance of the name MacDuff?  (Read 6938 times)
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Admiral Chew
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« on: March 04, 2005, 08:34:50 PM »

Okay, recently I posted that a poster on rec.arts.comics.dc.universe had realized that C W Saturn was an anagram of Curt Swan.

Well, there's another Eliot S! Maggin name I'm curious about.

MacDuff.

The name of the last of the Superman Robots from Maggin's Superman #414 and also--I now find out--the name of Luthor's computer in Maggin's The Last Son of Krypton

It always seemed like an odd name for a Superman robot, and now that I find out the Maggin used it twice, I figure it has to have some significance.

Does anyone know what it is or have any guesses?
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ShinDangaioh
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2005, 09:21:14 PM »

IIRC the name Macduff is from a famous play.  The line most remembered is 'Lead on, Macduff."  I don't recall the play's name or author.  I'm thinking Shakespeare, but I'm probably wrong on that point
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Gary
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2005, 09:37:02 PM »

It is Shakespeare, specifically MacBeth. But the actual quote is "Lay on, MacDuff." It's very commonly misquoted as "lead on".
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TELLE
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2005, 09:50:02 PM »

...and of course MacDuff played a relatively subservient/servile role, no?

MacDuff is also the first detective in English literature, who hunts down and revenges the murder of his family by McBeth.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2005, 09:55:58 PM »

Actually, no.  MacDuff in MacBeth was a peer who was wronged by MacBeth in the latter's quest for the crown.

The three witches made a prediction that three things had to happen before MacBeth would be defeated.  One of them was that he could not be defeated by any man born of woman.  MacBeth thought that meant he was invincible since all men are born of women.  MacDuff wasn't so rash and considered that the witches had no reason to be so charitable so what did it all really mean.

It turns out that MacDuff was IIRC "from his mother's womb untimely rip'd".  IOW, he was a Cesarean section child so he wasn't truly born of woman.  Ergo, he could and did defeat MacBeth in combat, hence the line "Lay on, MacDuff" when MacBeth knew he was going to lose so he'd go down fighting anyway.

Anyway, after recalling all this stuff, I suppose the significance is both the play MacDuff and Superman's robot are both not born of woman.
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Captain Kal

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Admiral Chew
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2005, 10:36:55 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
It turns out that MacDuff was IIRC "from his mother's womb untimely rip'd".  IOW, he was a Cesarean section child so he wasn't truly born of woman.


This always seemed like stupid explination to me. (And one of the reasons I never liked MacBeth. )

How is a child born by C-section not born of woman?

A C-section child is store born. No one would ever claim that they weren't actually born becuase they were a C-section baby.

And they had to be born of woman. They weren't cut out of a pumpkin.

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Anyway, after recalling all this stuff, I suppose the significance is both the play MacDuff and Superman's robot are both not born of woman.


That's an interesting thought.

It certainly sounds better than anything I could come up with.

Mike
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2005, 10:45:56 PM »

Aside from the difference between vaginal birth and C-section, which may be debated as to whether it's a valid birth or not, recall the time and medical facilities we're talking about here.

A C-section in that era very likely could mean the mother is dead.  MacDuff wasn't born of woman since his mother was dead from the procedure.  I mean, cutting the baby out was a drastic measure esp. in that time, so she'd have to be dead or nearly so and the only reason they'd do that was to save the unborn child.
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Captain Kal

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Admiral Chew
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2005, 11:07:55 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Aside from the difference between vaginal birth and C-section, which may be debated as to whether it's a valid birth or not, recall the time and medical facilities we're talking about here.

A C-section in that era very likely could mean the mother is dead.  MacDuff wasn't born of woman since his mother was dead from the procedure.  I mean, cutting the baby out was a drastic measure esp. in that time, so she'd have to be dead or nearly so and the only reason they'd do that was to save the unborn child.


I just don't see it.

There's nothing in the words "born" or "birth" that imply that the delivery was vaginal.

And there's nothing in the phrase "born of woman" that implies that the mother survived the birth.
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