Rapture and Horror: A Phenomenology of Theatrical Invisibility in Macbeth

  • The South-Central Renaissance Conference 2017 William B. Hunter Lecture
  • Marguerite A. Tassi
  • Explorations in Renaissance Culture, March 2018, Brill
  • DOI: 10.1163/23526963-04401001

Macbeth in performance

What is it about?

This article is about the thrill of horror and rapture that is central to the experience of Macbeth in performance.

Why is it important?

Macbeth is a play that is as relevant today as it was in Shakespeare's time, but perhaps for different reasons. Yet, underlying its relevance are the sensations of horror and rapture that make the play fundamentally disturbing and universal. Successful productions of the play generate these sensations in equal measure.


marguerite tassi
University of Nebraska System

I have been working on Macbeth for many years. The play is a great source of fascination for me. After seeing Rupert Goold's production, I gained insight into the core emotional experience of the play, which I believe is fear mingled with horror, but also there are moments of rapturous transport.

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