Seniors: Macduff goes to England, Lady Macbeth sleepwalks

Today we read IV.3 and V.1. In IV.3 Macduff goes to Malcolm and begs him to join with him in fighting Macbeth to regain the Scottish throne. For all of you out there interested in this gender stuff, pay close attention to IV.3.220 when Macduff hears the news that his wife and children have been murdered by Macbeth:

Malcolm: Dispute it like a man.
Macduff: I shall do so,
But I must also feel it as a man.
I cannot remember such things were
That were most precious to me. Did Heaven look on
And would not take their part?

It’s a great blending of both the gender and Christian theology we’ve been looking at. First, “disputing” like a man, for Macduff, means feeling all the emotions –  how does this differ from Lady Macbeth’s reactions to Macbeth’s emotional reactions?

Also, it goes back to the point we were making in class last week: if there’s a benevolent God, then why is there war or suffering? Macduff wonders why “Heaven” would just look on as Macbeth killed his family. What did the article we read Friday have to say about this?

As for Lady Macbeth, what would Freud have to say about the psychosomatic sleepwalking and hand-wringing she demonstrates for the doctor in V.1?


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