One of the more prevalent Psychoanalytical theorists after Freud was Jacques Lacan. Cristina Leon Alfar’s essay "'Blood Will Have Blood': Power, Performance, and Lady Macbeth's Gender Trouble," provides a meticulous analysis of Lacan’s psychoanalytical theory. Alfar asserts that the idea of both sexes is based on the male “having” and the female “being” the phallus. These two differences determine the relations between the sexes and the phallus governs the male/female cultural roles. Alfar adds that males have power and she states that: “Male dominance and female obedience and passivity become naturalized through this symbolic bifurcation” (183). Consequently, according to Lacanian theory, the phallus for males represent power, authority, and desire while for females the phallus signifies lack of power and agency (Alfar 182).
Another important text to refer while exploring psychoanalytical theory is Lacan’s “The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious or Reason since Freud.” In this text, Lacan created three different categories to explain the transformation from infant to adulthood, namely need, demand, and desire and labeled these three psychoanalytic orders, as the imaginary, the symbolic and the real stage. Lacan explains that one facet of the symbolic stage consists of the concept of the “Other,” a...
... middle of paper ...
... constraints governing women” (79). Furthermore, Lady Macbeth’s submissive gender role plays an important part in her failure to kill Duncan because she sees the king as the ultimate symbol of male authority.
Alfar, Cristina Leon. “ ‘Blood will have blood’: Power, Performance, and Lady Macbeth’s Gender Trouble.” Journal X 2.2 (1998): 179-207. Print.
Bressler, Charles E. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 5th ed. 2011.
Lacan, Jacques. “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience.” The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. Ed. David Richter. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989. 1123-1128. Print.
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Macbeth. Boston: D.C. Heath and Company, 1915. Google Books.
Web. 3 Sept. 2014.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Psychoanalytical criticism is a form of literary critique, which uses some of the techniques of psychoanalysis in the interpretation of literature. One of the more prevalent Psychoanalytical theorists after Freud was Jacques Lacan. In his text, “The Signification of the Phallus,” asserts that the idea of both sexes are based on the male “being” and the female “having” the phallus, and these two differences determine the relations between the sexes while also bringing them together. For Lacan, the phallus for males represents power, authority, and desire while for females the phallus signifies lack of power and agency (182).... [tags: phallus, Lacan, Masculine Power]
1186 words (3.4 pages)
- Psychoanalytical criticism is a form of literary critique, which uses some of the techniques of psychoanalysis in the interpretation of literature. Lacanian critics examine psychoanalytic phases such as the Symbolic and apply this phase while interpreting literary texts. Lacanian critics also associate the literary work’s content to broader Lacanian concepts, such as the Phallic and the Other. The focus of this essay is to apply these psychoanalytical techniques while interpreting Lady Macbeth’s character in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.... [tags: Psychology, Freud, Lacan]
2761 words (7.9 pages)
- One of the facets of psychoanalytic theory is the role of the unconscious and the conscious. In the text, Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice Charles Bressler claims that Freud’s contemporaries viewed the conscious as only observing and recording external reality and claimed that the conscious accounted for the basis of reason and analytical thought while the unconscious merely accumulates and retains our memories (121). Therefore, many psychoanalytic theorists believed that the conscious was solely accountable for our behavior and daily actions (Bressler 121).... [tags: Freud, Lacan, Macbeth Essays]
1530 words (4.4 pages)
- Allthrough “Macbeth”, there are quite a change in the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. It shows how their relationship dramatically changes after how they handle each other’s emotions. Lady Macbeth was manipulative and overpowering in their relationship. She was more violent and ambitious than her husband, Macbeth. In the other hand, Macbeth would be considered daring and brave yet self-doubt. The start of their marriage, Lady Macbeth reads a letter from her husband, “This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee.... [tags: macbeth, lady macbeth, king duncan]
738 words (2.1 pages)
- As Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition unfolds, the two central characters, Lady Macbeth and the title character Macbeth, undergo a dramatic shift of dominance in their relationship. In the beginning of the play the couple act as a team, plotting the death of Duncan to further their mutual bloodthirsty ambition. Lady Macbeth soon shows her power over Macbeth when she questions her husband’s manhood and devotion to her when he gets cold feet. As Macbeth’s confidence slowly grows and the witches proclaim positive futures for him he begins to separate himself from his wife, planning Banquo’s assassination without telling her, and no longer being susceptible to her insults.... [tags: Lady Macbeth Character Analysis]
1578 words (4.5 pages)
- In this essay I am going to discuss the role of Lady Macbeth. First I will be giving a quick summary of Macbeth, discuss the main themes and issues, analyse the text, analyse the character of Lady Macbeth, discuss the relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, write about the strengths and weaknesses of Lady Macbeth, I am going to debate if Lady Macbeth is evil or good, talk about the reason why Shakespeare created the character Lady Macbeth, discuss the misogynistic views in the play, discuss demonology written by king James and finally talk about the adoptions of the directors.... [tags: Lady Macbeth Character Analysis]
3187 words (9.1 pages)
- Throughout William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is presented as an evil, cold-hearted person, but, when it comes to the actual act of committing the murder, Lady Macbeth does not commit murder. In the end, it is Macbeth who plunges the knife into Duncan’s heart. Lady Macbeth had planned the whole murder, brought the daggers, and even intoxicated the guards, but it is Macbeth who ultimately killed Duncan. After the crime is committed, it is Macbeth who collapses and Lady Macbeth who smears blood on the guards to complete their plan.... [tags: Lady Macbeth Character Analysis]
1523 words (4.4 pages)
- In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s desire and ambition leads to her eventual downfall. When Lady Macbeth hears of Macbeth’s prophecy she dreams of the glory and high-standing that awaits being queen. She cannot withhold her ambitions and she is willing to manipulate fate to bring about Macbeth’s prophecy. She invokes evil spirits to be filled from head to toe with cruelty to do the evil actions necessary to make Macbeth king and to remove all remorse and pity for her action from her heart.... [tags: Lady Macbeth Character Analysis]
1360 words (3.9 pages)
- The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is very strange. In the relationship, throughout the play, both take turns to assume the role of being the dominant partner. What is unusual about this is the fact that at this period in time, the man typically was the one controlling the relationship, but in this case, for a lot of the time it is in fact Lady Macbeth that is the dominant force in their relationship. In Act 1, Scene 5 we can see that Lady Macbeth is very ambitious for Macbeth.... [tags: Relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth]
1188 words (3.4 pages)
- Portraying the Character of Lady Macbeth Congratulations on getting the part of Lady Macbeth in the recent Old Vic’s production of the Scottish Play I am writing this letter to give you some interpretation and tips on how you can portray you character best on stage. After watching numerous versions of the play, I have not once seen this character being conveyed as well as the Globe’s recent production. Hence in this letter I want to clarify and explain how this scene can be staged best, since it is one of the most important in the play; your role will need to be played out exceptionally well.... [tags: Lady Macbeth Scottish Plays Essays]
2006 words (5.7 pages)