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Schmukler, A.G. (1989). American Imago. XLIV, 1987: Macbeth: A Dream of Love. Kay Stockholder. Pp. 85-104.. Psychoanal Q., 58:510.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XLIV, 1987: Macbeth: A Dream of Love. Kay Stockholder. Pp. 85-104.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:510

American Imago. XLIV, 1987: Macbeth: A Dream of Love. Kay Stockholder. Pp. 85-104.

Anita G. Schmukler

It has been suggested that the conflict inherent in a great work of art is demonstrated, in part, by a struggle between the moral and the aesthetic (amoral) perspectives. This affects both the structure and the content of the work. Stockholder views Macbeth as "one of the most morally straightforward" works of art because of its "unambivalent" condemnation of "the evils of regicide and untoward ambition." Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are mutually involved in perverse love; their intimacy exudes violent destructiveness. The emphasis upon destruction and dissolution, rather than union, creativity, and procreation is expressed in terms of barrenness: barren heath, Lady Macbeth's sterility, Macbeth's leaving no heirs, and bearded, post-reproductive witches. The absence of generative sexuality is also viewed in the contexts of time and negation. Macbeth refers to the past and future, while avoiding the living, breathing present moment. And the intoning of "nothing is but what is not" is a substrate of denial and negativity. Shadows, images of death, hallucinations and preternatural creatures are the compromise formations of the dramatic characters whose perverse preoccupation with omnipotence and denial of vulnerability lead them to images of infanticide, and complete repression of any glimmer of generative impulses. Macbeth and Lacy Macbeth are clearly intimates, but demonstrate no capacity to admit the presence of another.

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Article Citation

Schmukler, A.G. (1989). American Imago. XLIV, 1987. Psychoanal. Q., 58:510

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