"Where the Place?" Meanings of Space and of Places in Shakespeare's Macbeth

Géza Kállay
2012 Philologica   unpublished
Drawing especially on Shakespeare's Macbeth as a text to be investigated in particular and on some philosophical texts on space and time as theoretical background, the paper attempts to show how difficult it is to talk about time without spatial metaphors and how space serves as a device to make time 'real.' In turn, it is also demonstrated how space becomes dependent on time: in Macbeth, the significance of a dramatic moment can hardly be established without some specific reference to how that
more » ... ference to how that moment fits into the spatial sequence of the plot, and how this effects the formation and disintegration of the character who is in a certain spatio-temporal situation. The paper consists of three parts: in the first, the first scene of the play is interpreted in detail; in the second, there is a brief survey of theories of space and place, and the third follows the various uses the words space and place are put to in the dramatic text. It is argued that one aspect of Macbeth's tragedy is that he tried the "spatial impossible," inseparable, as usual, from time: he wished to move, to go and remain in place at the same time.