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Macbeth Essay | Critical Essay #11

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Critical Essay #11

[Adelman discusses Lady Macbeth's character based on her reading of Macbeth as a play that illustrates both a fantasy of absolute and destructive maternal power and a fantasy of escape from this power. According to the critic, maternal power in Macbeth is not evoked in the figure of a particular mother; rather, it is projected through both the witches and Lady Macbeth's manipulation of the protagonist Adelman argues that Shakespeare initially associates Lady Macbeth with the Weird Sisters by showing how she attempts to mirror their disturbance of gender in psychological terms by desiring to unsex herself. Despite the witches' supernatural status, the critic continues, Lady Macbeth ultimately appears to be the more frightening figure. For all of their eeriness, the Weird Sisters exist on a cosmic level apart from Macbeth's physical world; but, by embracing evil herself, Lady Macbeth brings the psychic force of their power home...

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This section contains 2,409 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Macbeth Study Guide
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Macbeth from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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