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The Serpent Underneath: A Lesbian’s Defense of Lady Macbeth

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  1. Introduction
  2. Lady Macbeth: Anti feminist in an anachronistic sense
  3. The most crucial circumstance surrounding Lady Macbeth's speech
  4. The conventional split between masculine and feminine in psychology and culture
  5. This idea of creating a foil
  6. The murder of Duncan
    1. Macbeth's capacity for empathy
    2. Lady Macbeth's scrutiny and psychological abuse
    3. Her ultimate masculine identity
  7. Conclusion: The qualities Lady Macbeth
  8. Works cited

?Dyke,? hiss the schoolboys, to the girls with grass-stained knees and dirt-streaked cheeks. To the girls who run faster, throw further, tackle harder than the prides of fatherhood manifest. A word, but so much more a performance. A stereotype, but so much more an expectation. Sometimes, these girls are wronged. Sometimes, these boys are right. Playground dykes: a first acknowledgment of sexual beings, independent of sex, distorting the being.
I find it impossible to live separate from the homosexual lifestyle. To pass as straight is to deny gay culture, but to embrace gay culture for the sake of camaraderie is to perpetuate a false image. Sexuality and gender are not interchangeable ideals, nor do they obey the certain analogous formula of normal is to normal as abnormal is to abnormal. I can be gay and still be female.

[...] (Shakespeare, Macbeth III.iv.61-69) Under the constant pressure of Lady Macbeth's scrutiny and psychological abuse?and possible physical abuse off-stage?it is no surprise that Macbeth begins to agree with his own feminization, to look upon his delusions as the ?strange and self-abuse? reflective of his own masochistic tendencies (III.iv.143). These delusions, the not-quite-tangible but otherwise expression of the remorse he feels for killing Duncan, the empathy he feels toward the victims of their regicidal plans, are in direct conflict with Lady Macbeth's lasting symptoms. [...]


[...] There is so much weight placed on But really, we all share the same risk of simplification. Works Cited Brierley, Marjorie. ?Some Problems of Integration in Women.? International Journal of Psychoanalysis (1932): 433-448. Butler, Judith. ?Melancholy Gender-Refused Identification.? Gender in Psychoanalytic Space: Between Clinic and Culture. Ed. Muriel Dimen and Virginia Goldner. New York: Other 3-19. Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales (Original-Spelling Edition). New York: Penguin Chodorow, Nancy J. ?Gender as a Personal and Cultural Construct.? Gender in Psychoanalytic Space: Between Clinic and Culture. [...]


[...] Only Lady Macbeth never rectifies this discrepancy in the prescribed manner?by replacing the wish for a penis with the wish for a child?and instead clings to this primary wish eternally, developing a ?masculinity complex? that also result in a manifest homosexual choice of object? ("Female" 312-327). This literal coddling of her penis envy and rejection of role as mother is explicitly confessed in the repeated infanticide metaphor she employs throughout the first act of the play. ?Come to my woman's breasts / And take my milk for she cries, not only the willing forfeiture of the symbol of motherhood, but a call to replace that symbol with poison (Shakespeare, Macbeth I.v.48-49). [...]

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