Power Beyond Sex: A Foucauldian Reading of Lady Macbeth

Sofiya Shahiwala
2022 International Journal of English Literature and Social Sciences  
Shakespeare's most haunting tragedy, Macbeth, has been regarded as one of his best tragic trios. One of the most significant characters of the play – Lady Macbeth – often realized as the 'antagonist' of the play, is portrayed as the impetus and motivational factor behind Macbeth's brief victory and, apparently, even his ultimum ruinam. With her actions within the course of the play, it becomes a daunting task to justify them without referring to the history of Lady Macbeth. Most of the past
more » ... ies have focused on her earlier marriage and multiple miscarriages in order to condone her behaviour. The present research essay, however, reviews the play in a deconstructive approach and delves into a deep exploration of the representation of Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's renowned tragedy. The study focuses on the influence of normalizing power and gender distinction upon the actions of the characters. It studies the theory of Normalizing Power (as given by Michel Foucault) and views it in the context of how femininity is depicted within Macbeth. It further reinvestigates the patriarchal dominance and looks at the existing power structures that subconsciously affect Lady Macbeth's motivation, leading to the tragic fall of the characters. By visiting the play from the lens of power and femininity inherent in the subconscious mind of the readers, the research aims to portray Lady Macbeth in a different light, one that is not dominated by supporting ideologies of male dominance or the notion of power in the hands of the phallus.
doi:10.22161/ijels.75.15 fatcat:cy6nwil7yreqve5364awqkz2hi