Title of Abstract

"Unsex Me Here": The Animus Possession of Lady Macbeth

Submitting Student(s)

Emmalynne Eshleman

Session Title

Literature in Society

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Matthew Fike, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

English

Abstract

Most previous Jungian studies of Lady Macbeth’s psyche overlook her position as an autonomous character, viewing her, for example, as a mere projection of Macbeth’s anima. Feminist critics analyze both characters equally, but their argument lacks C. G. Jung's helpful terminology. This essay uses her words and actions to argue that individuation eludes her because she has been possessed by the animus archetype (women’s inner masculine principle and a bridge to the unconscious). By attempting to compensate for her husband’s feminine nature, Lady Macbeth is possessed by what she thinks a man should be—brutal, unemotional, fierce. Her hardened concept of masculinity and her openness to the demonic masculine ultimately lead to her death. While her animus possession helps Lady Macbeth put Macbeth on the throne, the suppression of her true self is the hamartia in her personal tragedy.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

"Unsex Me Here": The Animus Possession of Lady Macbeth

Most previous Jungian studies of Lady Macbeth’s psyche overlook her position as an autonomous character, viewing her, for example, as a mere projection of Macbeth’s anima. Feminist critics analyze both characters equally, but their argument lacks C. G. Jung's helpful terminology. This essay uses her words and actions to argue that individuation eludes her because she has been possessed by the animus archetype (women’s inner masculine principle and a bridge to the unconscious). By attempting to compensate for her husband’s feminine nature, Lady Macbeth is possessed by what she thinks a man should be—brutal, unemotional, fierce. Her hardened concept of masculinity and her openness to the demonic masculine ultimately lead to her death. While her animus possession helps Lady Macbeth put Macbeth on the throne, the suppression of her true self is the hamartia in her personal tragedy.