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ENG220 Macbeth continued

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University of Toronto St. George
Elizabeth Harvey

ENG220 Monday, November 14, 2011 Macbeth Lady Macbeth and problem of gender • • 1.5 repeat events in form of letter, taking reported experience into own mind and body • language used by Macbeth “more than mortal knowledge” -> she believes immortal, supernatural, but packed in word are ideas like link between life and death, space in between, liminal space, doorway • breath affects others, invisible connector, because others breathe same air • “weird sisters” • inanimate & animate • brings Macbeth as kind of airy substance, summoning his ghost in language, address him directly • nature of experience depends on circumstances and person’s perspective • contrast between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth • 1.3 Banquo • you should be aware, and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so... • hide thee hither that i may pour my spirits in thine ear... metaphysical and doth to have... • human physiology • 4 humors • black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, blood • conversion of blood into milk during pregnancy, providing to child when born • 1.5 Lady Macbeth • come, you spirits... come to my woman’s breasts and take my milk.... you wait on nature’s mischief.. • sleepwalking, visions, ghosts • apostrophes and conversions intimately related to gender construction • physiology producing mind and character in early modern period • desire to undo that physiology, unsex herself and change qualities of compassion and tenderness • blood • sign of life force, vehicle of spirits • signifier of death/murder • “What bloody man is that? (1.2) • voice of blood as call for revenge “Blood will have blood” (3.4) • murder begets murder external sign of guilt “Here’s the smell of blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will • not sweeten this little hand” (5.1) ENG220 Monday, November 14, 2011 • lineage, signifier of fami
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