Macbeth and the Poetics of the Unnatural
In Macbeth we come to understand nature as an equivocal discourse of aberrance and ambition, shaped by active intervention or manipulation what constitutes the natural is always under discussion. Understanding nature in relation to predetermined social or moral conditions, this chapter explores the ways in which Shakespeare’s tragedy confronts the possibilities of human intervention in the natural world. Reshaping the conditions upon which definitions of the natural depend, Macbeth begins to unhinge expectations of fixed characteristics. Exposing human intervention in the natural world as essential to the hero’s success, the play identifies the ways in which the human must exceed its nature and in doing so redefine the moral binaries upon which concepts of the natural depend. Establishing the moral legacy of the natural world, the Macbeths radically dismantle previously held assumptions about the status of ‘nature’ itself.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.