William Shakespeare’s Macbeth as a Spatial Palimpsest

in Critical Survey
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This article analyses William Shakespeare’s Macbeth in relation to its main spaces – the heath, Macbeth’s three castles, Macduff’s fortress, and the battleground where Macbeth perishes – in order to shed light on the play’s use of spatial politics by outlining the function and significance of the concept of the palimpsest, while concurrently reading the play within a context that conflates Michel de Certeau’s and Henri Lefebvre’s theories of space. It contends that although castles are supposed to be the bedrocks and shelters for the individuals that inhabit them, hence fixed and static, those in the text are ambiguous and changeable while concurrently they refigure and reinscribe one another. Finally, the article will demonstrate that the playwright invites the audience to ponder on the issues of social responsibility and political power by choosing a spatially palimpsestic framework for his play.