Lady Macbeth's Heroic Nude Analysis

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While the ‘heroic nude’ is often reserved for the male figure in the neoclassical movement, Andrei Pop’s pluralist reading of Fuseli’s Macbeth readings suggest that the heroic nude can also be applied to the female body as well. Pop argues that by comparing the two drawings of Lady Macbeth Sleep-Walking (fig. 5 & 6), the bare “heroic mid-section” places her in the realm of a Greek hero and that “it is in her madness, suicide, and the pathological sleepwalking … that Lady Macbeth becomes a moral subject.” Perhaps we can read Titania as a similar insinuation of morality in the fact that she was spellbound through a cruel prank by her husband and his minion. As mentioned earlier, the effect of the sublime comes when the viewers’ eyes leave…show more content…
In the play, Mercutio refers to Queen Mab as the “fairies’ midwife” (1.4.183) and that she was the one who “plaits the manes of horses in the night…which once untangled much misfortune bodes. This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs, that presses them and learns them first to bear, making them women of good carriage” (1.4.87-92). Coupled with the imagery of artificial children and a changeling, the painting implicates the condition that caused the mess of Titania’s misplaced love; her fight with Oberon over the Indian changeling boy. The changeling was said to be stolen from an Indian King by Puck (2.1.8), yet Titania asserts that she knew the boy’s dead mother. Which makes you wonder again if Titania is a moral character, adding to the terrifying undercurrent of the painting that these fairies take children. Moreover, after establishing the human-not-humanness of the artificial children and the changeling in the corner, one wonders if Titania herself is also part of the…show more content…
In the classic words of Kant, the sublime “is that, the mere capacity of thinking which evidences a faculty of mind transcending every standard of sense” and “therefore does not reside in any of the things of nature, but only in our own mind, in so far as we may become conscious of our own superiority over nature within, and thus also over nature without us (as exerting influence upon us).” In other words, Kant, while understands that the sublime cannot be bordered or defined exactly, still concludes that we can self-transcend the notion within our own minds. However, according to Vijay Mishra, the Gothic sublime “is most aware of [its] incommensurability and the inherent problems of self-transcendence” and therefore cannot afford for it to self-transcend. He continues that in the Gothic sublime’s “self-empowerment,” the subject “always implies subservience to the trope.” The sublime is a quality that cannot be contained within our typical frameworks, and therefore in doing so, the sublime threatens the notions of the beautiful — which becomes an argument for the Gothic
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