Gender Transition in Macbeth
Come you spirit,
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here.
More so than any other Shakespearean play, Macbeth functions the most vividly as a psychoanalysis of the state of humanity's development of a sense of sexual self. Now, in a time where terms such a transgendered, pansexual, or heteroflexible are integrated into daily conversation as much as articles of political dispute or details of the latest Yankees outing, the play is all the more fascinating because it validates both Shakespeare's breadth of genius and our developing notion of what it means to be a sexual human. The play functions in essence as a looking glass for any age into which one might peer to observe the manner in which we have grown or perhaps not grown; it is an honest reflection of society and socio-sexual prescriptions in all of their positive and negative ramifications. The play compels us explicitly to challenge those and implicitly all social prescriptions that limit our humanity because of ideas engendered by imperfect cultural evolution.
Specifically, the play is about social pressures and the consequent fissures within sexual identity. Readings of the line quoted above may eventually lead some or even many readers to...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 972 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7757 literature essays, 2170 sample college application essays, 323 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in