"SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES": THE UNCANNY AND VIOLENCE IN MACBETH
To describe Macbeth's arrival in William Shakespare's play of the same title, the three witches exclaim: “Something wicked this way comes”. This notorious line perfectly defines the mixture of the uncanny – something that is strange and strangely familiar at the same time – and violence in the play, as well as it could express the sensation caused by Sigmund Freud in 1919, when he published his essay “The Uncanny.” By analyzing Ernst Hoffman's short story “The Sand-Man,” Freud developed the concept of the uncanny, something which should remain hidden but insists coming out into the open. The uncanny involves several characteristics, such as doubles, the compulsion to repeat, the evil eye, the gaze, the death drive, déjà-vu, ghosts, dolls and automatons, the blurring between fantasy and reality, liminality, epilepsy and madness. Most of these traits are present in the playtext of Macbeth and in several productions, and they are undoubtedly related to violence. Examples of uncanny violence abound in Macbeth, a playtext that has always been considered one of the most violent of Shakespeare's oeuvre, and that may well be seen as the uncanniest.
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