The Three Witches Told Macbeth His Fate. Did the Events in Macbeths Life Occur Because of the Witches Profesy or Because of the Choices He Made?
A metaphorical and dramatic representation of characters in Shakespeare’s works introduced serious challenge in the scientific, artistic and theological analysis of the question of influence on human behavior and being. The complexity of the character of Macbeth provides a real treasure, both for the field of the theory of literature and psychological sciences.
Although the context of Shakespeare’s play was influenced by mythology, theology, witchcraft, and other beliefs, which guided and decided about the destiny of his characters (Shakespeare 348-357), it is necessary to analyze their inner development and external background in which the character functions in a certain manner.
Freud argues that influenced by desire and ambition, Macbeth’s failing character, is the consequence of success and not the failure. That means that his intensive sentiment of guilt is the product of undeveloped sexuality during his childhood. Freud proposes the term Id, i.e., instinctive function in contrast to an objective and logical function of the Ego. Furthermore, he introduces the term of Superego, represented in the normative character of his wife, Lady Macbeth (Freud 3104; ch. 2).
Lacan follows the path of Freud’s theory and proposes another argument, explaining that power as the object of Macbeth’s desire is due to a fertile deficiency (Lacan 14). He stresses that Kingship could be read as the desired Phallus, previously not developed as a concept in Macbeth’s childhood and adulthood as well.
All the things considered, the events in Macbeth’s life occur as a result of the unconscious. His character missed regular stages of development of his Ego and thus, are the result of an inability to control his desire. The choices he made collapsed under the image of prophecy, his own perception of conscience, instead of internal development of reasoning.
- Freud, S. “Some Character-Types Met With In Psycho-Analytical Work”: Those Wracked by Success, 1916, http://freudians.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Some-Character-Types-Met-With-in-Psycho-Analytic-Work.pdf. Accessed 5 March 2018.
- Lacan, J. “The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious or Reason since Freud”. The insistence of the Letter in The Unconscious: Yale French Studies, 36/37, pp. 112-147, 1966, https://www.mediafire.com/file/lnblikrk921z0u2/19570509+Insistence+of+the+Letter+in+the+Unconscious++%281966%29+36-37+YFS+112.pdf. Accessed 4 March 2018
- Shakespeare, W. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Macbeth. London, UK: Flame Tree Publishing, 2011, pp. 348-357.
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