Psychoanalysis and Feminism in Macbeth

Good Essays
Topics: Gender, Femininity
Psychoanalysis and feminism In ‘’ Macbeth’’
William Shakespeare is one of the best writers of the Renaissance. He is unforgettable person and admired by young and older people. His works are used in mass media and popular culture. His plays are always alive in art, television, theatre. In the essay there would be discussed the most popular female character found in his play " Macbeth"- Lady Macbeth. She is an extraordinary example of the person who was analysed by psychoanalysis. One of the person who wrote about her case is Karin Thomson in the essay “ Psychoanalytical Criticism”. Also I would like to pay attention to the notion of feminism in Lady Macbeth. The case is discussed in the essay wrote by and dr. Caroline Cakebread in “ Macbeth and Feminism “ .
Firstly, I would like to focus on feminism presented in the attitude of Lady Macbeth.
‘’ Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty” ( 1.5.39-42)
Lady Macbeth want to be strong, independent, more ruthless, and more ambitious than her husband. She want to achieve power by acceptance of traditionally masculine qualities. She seems fully aware of this and knows that she will have to push Macbeth into committing murder. At one point, she wishes that she were not a woman so that she could do it herself. The relationship between gender and power is key to Lady Macbeth’s character. She is a masculine soul inhabiting a female body, which seems to link masculinity to ambition and violence. According to Caroline Cakebread “… femininity is not an attribute to be equated with power and , in the murder of Duncan, feminine attributes lead to virtual erasure in terms of power politics. “ . Lady Macbeth is a crafty woman, power is for her manipulation to further her supposedly male ambitions. She manipulates her husband with remarkable effectiveness, overriding all his objections. Her remarkable strength of will persists through

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