Abstract

This thesis analyzes the ambivalent definition of manhood in Shakespeare's Macbeth. It explores the normative cultural constructions of masculinity carried forth from ancient times to the Renaissance to situate the character of Macbeth in the realm of heroic masculinity. By applying the framework of Freud's psychoanalytic theory, particularly in its interpretation of gender and the role of the unconscious, Shakespeare's male hero's struggle to establish, maintain and defend his masculinity becomes comprehensible. The societal and cultural expectations that define masculinity appear at odds not only with the world of the play, but with the world in general. Culture and society alone do not shape identity; deeper and more complex psychic structures explain human motivation and behavior. Studying the character of Macbeth in the light of the influences of the cultural and psychoanalytic, the notion of masculinity gains new meanings.

Department

English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Date of Award

6-1-2015

Online Submission Date

May 2015

First Advisor

Kolb, Justin

Committee Member 1

Shoukri, Dorris

Committee Member 2

Nimis, Stephen

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

49 p.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. Macbeth.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Macbeth, King of Scotland, active 11th century -- In literature.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

IRB

Not necessary for this item

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