In his writing, Shakespeare unveils a hysterical, power-hungry, lustful Lady Macbeth, constant until the end; while in the film adaptation of the play, this image gradually peels away and disappears by act three to reveal a woman bound by the chains of her past who is acting out only in love. Barbara Leigh Hunt plays the role of Lady Macbeth and she does a fine job, reciting her monologues with desperate passion and sincerity. Upon first reading the play, Lady Macbeth appears to be nothing but evil, but as is displayed throughout the movie by Barbara, she is simply “a victim of a pathological mental dissociation…due to the emotional shocks of her past experiences” (Coriat). This streak of hysteria begins with an underlying passion to see a son inherit the throne after Macbeth, since “the witches hail Macbeth as a father to a line of Kings” (Coriat). Lady Macbeth is cursed with this chil...
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...own idea of the play’s theme.
Coriat, Isador H. "The Hysteria of Lady Macbeth." The Hysteria of Lady Macbeth. Moffat, Yard and Company, 1912. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Laurie Lanzen Harris and Mark W. Scott. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale Research, 1986. Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 Nov. 2011.
Gerwig, George William. "Lady Macbeth." Shakespeare's Ideals of Womanhood. East Aurora, N.Y.: The Roycroft Shops, 1929. 133-150. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Lynn M. Zott. Vol. 69. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 Nov. 2011.
Maginn, William. "Lady Macbeth." The Shakespeare Papers of the Late William Maginn, LL.D. Ed. Shelton Mackenzie. Redfield, 1856. 171-208. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Laurie Lanzen Harris and Mark W. Scott. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale Research, 1986. Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 Nov. 2011.
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