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Journal Articles Cahiers Élisabéthains : A Journal of English Renaissance Studies Year : 1993

Macbeth : Oedipus Transposed


Investigating Lady Macbeth’s collapse after achieving success, Freud eventually decided he could find no conclusive explanation for it. Freud was looking for an explanation along the lines of his own canonical Oedipal pattern, while the play seems to offer a transposed version of it. As the instrument of Lady Macbeth’s masculine ambition, Macbeth acts out her œdipal fantasy while his own desire points to the preœdipal merger with the mother-figure. After the murder of Duncan, Macbeth is assigned the unwelcome status of the symbolic father, losing that of the symbiotic son. The resulting frustration informs the manner of his death which assumes the appropriate form of a birth, reenacting the initial separation from the mother.
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hal-04070580 , version 1 (15-04-2023)



Anny Crunelle Vanrigh. Macbeth : Oedipus Transposed. Cahiers Élisabéthains : A Journal of English Renaissance Studies, 1993, 43 (1), pp.21-33. ⟨10.1177/018476789304300106⟩. ⟨hal-04070580⟩
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