Rapture and Horror: A Phenomenology of Theatrical Invisibility in Macbeth

The South-Central Renaissance Conference 2017 William B. Hunter Lecture

In: Explorations in Renaissance Culture
View More View Less
  • 1

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

Macbeth is arguably Shakespeare’s greatest experiment in the phenomenology of horrible imaginings. For all of its visible supernatural trappings, Macbeth is a play radically steeped in the invisible, which exerts a gravitational force on all aspects of performance. The phantom dagger, King Duncan’s slain body, Lady Macbeth’s murky hell—these unseen supernatural sights are as phenomenologically palpable and horrifying in the theater as the weïrd sisters are. Invisible elements of the play’s world permeate the visible, producing a pervasive sense of unease, dread, and horror in the theater. The experience of horror co-exists with another strongly felt experience, that of rapture, which arises especially in moments when the Macbeths are fascinated with invisible phenomena and enter into trance-like states of deep absorption, ecstasy, and madness.

  • Carroll Noël . The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart. New York and London: Routledge, 1990. Print.

  • Cavarero Adriana . Horrorism: Naming Contemporary Violence . Trans. McCuaig William . New York: Columbia up, 2011. Print.

  • Curran Kevin . “Feeling Criminal in Macbeth.” Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts 54.3 (Summer 2012): 391401. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • De Sousa Geraldo U . At Home in Shakespeare’s Tragedies . Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2010. Print.

  • Douglas Mary . Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo . New York and Washington: Frederick A. Praeger, 1966. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Elkins James . Pictures of the Body: Pain and Metamorphosis. Stanford: Stanford up, 1999. Print.

  • Garber Marjorie . Shakespeare’s Ghost Writers: Literature as Uncanny Causality. New York and London: Methuen, 1987. Print.

  • Garner Stanton B. Jr. , Bodied Spaces: Phenomenology and Performance in Contemporary Drama . Ithaca: Cornell up, 1994. Print.

  • Hanich Julian . Cinematic Emotion in Horror Films and Thrillers: The Aesthetic Paradox of Pleasurable Fear . New York and London: Routledge, 2010. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harris Jonathan Gil . Untimely Matter in the Time of Shakespeare . Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2009. Print.

  • Heywood Thomas . An Apology for Actors (1612). Ed. Perkinson Richard H. . New York: Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints, 1941. Print.

  • Hobgood Allison P. Feeling Fear in Macbeth.” Shakespearean Sensations: Experiencing Literature in Early Modern England. Eds. Craik Katharine A. and Pollard Tanya . Cambridge: Cambridge up, 2013. 2946. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hurley Erin . Theatre & Feeling. Hampshire, England, and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Print.

  • Husserl Edmund . Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy. Trans. Kersten F. . Husserliana: Edmund Husserl—Collected Works. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic, 1983. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • James William . “The Moral Equivalent of War” (1910). William James: Writings 1902–1910 . New York: The Library of America, 1987. 128193. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Keller James R. The Power of his Horror: Abjection and Macbeth.” The Year’s Work in Medievalism 18 (2003): 2633. Print.

  • Kristeva Julia . Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection . Trans. Roudiez Leon S. . New York: Columbia up, 1982. Print.

  • Leon Ruth . “Make It So.” Playbill, Lyceum Theatre. New York: Playbill, Inc., May 2008. 16, 18. Print.

  • Lovecraft Howard Phillips . Supernatural Horror in Literature (1945). New York: Dover Publications, 1973. Print.

  • Lupton Julia Reinhard . “Macbeth’s Martlets: Shakespearean Phenomenologies of Hospitality.” Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts 54.3 (Summer 2012): 36576. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Macbeth. By William Shakespeare. Dir. Rupert Goold. Perf. Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood. Lyceum Theatre, New York. 18 May 2008. Performance.

  • Machen Arthur . Tales of Horror and the Supernatural: with an Introduction by Philip Van Doren Stern . London: John Baker, 1964. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Merleau-Ponty Maurice . “Eye and Mind” (1961). Trans. Dallery Carleton . The Primacy of Perception. Ed. Edie James M. . Evanston: Northwestern up, 1964. 15990. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Merleau-Ponty Maurice . Phenomenology of Perception. Trans. Smith Colin . London and New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962. Print.

  • Merleau-Ponty Maurice . The Visible and the Invisible, Followed by Working Notes . Ed. Lefort Claude . Trans. Lingis Alphonso . Evanston: Northwestern up, 1968. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ogilvie John , ed. The Imperial Dictionary, English, Technological and Scientific. Vol 2. London: Blackie and Son, 1853. Print.

  • Otto Rudolf . The Idea of the Holy (1923). Trans. Harvey John W. . 2nd ed. Oxford, London, and New York: Oxford up, 1970. Print.

  • Poole Kristen . Supernatural Environments in Shakespeare’s England: Spaces of Demonism, Divinity, and Drama . Cambridge: Cambridge up, 2011. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pye Christopher . The Regal Phantasm: Shakespeare and the Politics of Spectacle . London and New York: Routledge, 1990. Print.

  • Shakespeare William . The First Folio of Shakespeare. Ed. Hinman Charlton . New York: W.W. Norton, 1968. Print.

  • Shakespeare William . Macbeth . Ed. Braunmuller A.R. . The New Cambridge Shakespeare. Cambridge: Cambridge up, 1997. Print.

  • Sillars Stuart . “Shakespeare’s Macbeth .” Explicator 41.3 (Spring 1983): 1718. Print.

  • Smith Bruce R. The Acoustic World of Early Modern England: Attending to the O-Factor . Chicago and London: University of Chicago P, 1999. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sofer Andrew . Dark Matter: Invisibility in Drama, Theater, and Performance . Ann Arbor: University of Michigan P, 2013. Print.

  • States Bert O. Great Reckonings in Little Rooms: On the Phenomenology of Theater. Berkeley: U of California P, 1985. Print.

  • Stewart Andrew . Art, Desire, and the Body in Ancient Greece . Cambridge: Cambridge up, 1997. Print.

  • Tassi Marguerite . “Arrestingly Contemporary.” The Shakespeare Newsletter 57.3 (Winter 2007 /8): 8182, 118–20. Print.

  • Tassi Marguerite . “The ‘new Gorgon’: Eros, Terror and Violence in Macbeth .” Shakespeare’s Erotic Mythology and Ovidian Renaissance Culture . Ed. Lafont Agnès . Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2013. 15570. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vernant Jean-Pierre . “Au miroir de Méduse.” L’individu, la mort, l’amour: Soi-même et l’autre en Grèce ancienne . Paris: Gallimard, 1989. 11729. Print.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Walker Jonathan . Site Unscene: The Offstage in English Renaissance Drama. Evanston: Northwestern up, 2017. Print.

  • Wynter Kevin Anthony . Feeling Absence: Horror in Cinema from Post War to Post-Wall . Diss. University of California, Berkeley, 2014. http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/etd/ucb/text/Wynter_berkeley_0028E_14679.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 399 123 9
Full Text Views 236 25 3
PDF Views & Downloads 55 28 7