The Weird Sisters and the Circean Myth of Femininity in Geoffrey Wright’s Macbeth/Las brujas, Circe y el mito de la feminidad en el Macbeth de Geoffrey Wright

Maria Marino-Faza

Abstract


One of the typical figures used to construct monstrosity in terms of gender is that of the witch and, probably, one of the best well-known portrayals of these women appears in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Written at the beginning of the seventeenth-century, soon after James I became king of England, this theatre play echoes contemporary beliefs on witchcraft and portrays the weird sisters as the characters that set in motion all the events in the play. The witch is understood as an abject figure and gender becomes a key element in this construction of monstrosity. Accordingly, Geoffrey Wright’s adaptation to the screen, uses the mythological figure of Circe as a basis for this contemporary representation of femininity, stressing not only witches’ threatening potential but also the danger their highly erotized nature poses.


Keywords


witchcraft; Macbeth; Shakespeare; monstrosity; femininity; myth; Jacobean theatre; Circe

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bordo, Susan. Unbearable Weight. Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

Brunel, Pierre. Ed. Companion to Literary Myths, Heroes and Archetypes. New York: Routledge, 1996.

Creed, Barbara. The Monstrous-Feminine. Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis. 1993. Oxon: Routledge, 2007.

Gaborit, Lydia, Yveline Guesdon and Myriam Boutrolle-Caporal. “Witches.” Companion to Literary Myths, Heroes and Archetypes. Ed. Pierre Brunel. New York: Routledge, 1996. 1163-1178.

Hults, Linda C. The Witch as Muse. Art, Gender, and Power in Early Modern Europe. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005. PMid:16291156

James VI. Daemonologie, in forme of a Dialogue, Diuided into three Bookes. Westo: Oakmagic Publications, 2002.

Kors, Alan Charles and Edward Peters. Witchcraft in Europe. 400-1700. A Documentary History. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2001.

Kristeva, Julia. Powers of Horror. An Essay on Abjection. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982.

Levack, Brian P. The Witch-hunt in Early Modern Europe. London: Pearson, 1995. PMid:7573937 PMCid:PMC1128300

Macbeth. Dir. Orson Welles. Republic Pictures, 1948.

Macbeth. Dir. Roman Polanski. Caliban Films, 1971.

Macbeth. Dir. Geoffrey Wright. Arclight Films, 2006.

Macbeth. Dir. Rupert Goold. PBS, 2010.

Paz Fernández, Marta “Maga famosissima y clarissima meretrix: algunas consideraciones sobre la figura de Circe.” Quintana 8 (2009): 213-229.

Purkiss, Diane. The Witch in History. Early Modern and Twentieth-Century Representations. 1996. London: Routledge, 1997. PMid:9388756

Shamas, Laura. “We Three.” The Mythology of Shakespeare’s Weird Sisters. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2007. https://doi.org/10.3726/978-1-4539-0638-5

Yarnall, Judith. Transformations of Circe. The History of an Enchantress. University of Illinois Press, 1994.

Zika, Charles. The Appearance of Witchcraft. Print and Visual Culture in Sixteenth-Century Europe. Oxon: Routledge, 2009.




DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.17561/grove.v23.a5

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.