Pre-AP English (P3)
March 5, 2012
¨Lady Macbeth, Woman in Shakespeare¨ – A summary
In this article, Alison Findlay elaborately analyzes the character of Lady Macbeth. Findlay suggests that women never have a ¨unified subject position¨ in tragedies. She uses Lady Macbeth as an example; Lady Macbeth tells her husband what to do, but she is never responsible for doing the deeds. Adding to the unimportant subject position of Lady Macbeth, Findlay points out how the character never has a permanent position but shifts from a hostess to a mistress, a lady and so on, but is always the lady of Macbeth and only that.
Findlay also writes about how the at beginning of the play Lady Macbeth is seen as a friendly and hospitable mistress and is able to hide her guilt throughout the play. Then at the end her social and emotional roles are very apparent. Findlay criticizes how by hiding her emotions and by attempting to destroy her maternal origins, Lady Macbeth goes against the essential construction of womanly identity in early modern England, having no place nor future. Then, like her emotions, at the end of the play she reveals a bit of realization on the importance of women and regrets killing one when she says, ¨The Than of Fife had a wife; where is she now?¨ (5.2.42)
More to the end of the article, Findlay describes other points of view of several critics. She highlights the mentions of Lady Macbeth having moral blindness, intellect and long memory. Findlay finally concludes that Lady Macbeth’s desire to kill Lady Macduff and her children is an interpretation of Lady Macbeth’s desire to destroy maternal matrix. FINDLAY, ALISON. "Macbeth, Lady." Women In Shakespeare (2010): 239-241. Literary Reference Center. Web. 2 Mar. 2012.