A Textual Analysis of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth from William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth Using Judith Butler’s Theory of Gender Performativity.
William Shakespeare’s work has achieved an iconic status, with many of his plays being performed throughout the world and studied in schools to this day. His plays tackle many aspects of life including the tragedy and the happiness experienced by everyone, making his plays connect to an audience and reader in many ways. However, some of his work is explored more by scholars than others, with some themes touched upon within the plays not having the same amount of examination as others. This dissertation uses Judith Butler’s developed theory of gender performativity to provide a fresh interpretation of the play Macbeth, with focus on the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Specifically, this dissertation uses the theory of gender performativity, as discussed by Butler, to perform a textual analysis on the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to discover the ways in which they conform to the theory of gender performativity. Further to this, this dissertation discusses what are classed as masculine and feminine qualities by scholars, therefore describing the ways in which both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are analysed. By uniting the theory of gender performativity in Judith Butler’s developed form, this thorough textual analysis gains a deeper understanding of the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and ultimately reveals that both characters perform both masculine and feminine traits.