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Word Count: 1,272
Trying to define deconstruction is rather like being asked to weigh air -it is to say the leasta nebulous concept to grasp However considering deconstruction in relation to Macbeth may give the theory some substance and may help to open up angles on the play that would not otherwise be considered The words fair is foul and foul is fair 1110 shake our whole universe of meaning If either can signify the other where do we look to for stability or is there no such thing as stability in the world of Macbeth A world where everything is clearly and correctly labelled is a safe and comforting place A world where labels can be erased is threatening to contemplate The crisis at the heart of Macbeth is in some ways a perfect expression of what some 2Oth century theorists call deconstruction It is important though to keep in mind that when considering the play in this light we are imposing a modern day notion on the play which it was not written to fit Many times in this play binary oppositions are invoked only to be subverted -the foulfair pairing in the first brief scene alerts us to this and the witches themselves are not easily labelled since they look not like the inhabitants oth earth And yet are ont 13339-341 Macbeth and Lady Macbeth embody subversions of the expected gender attributes -Macbeth is too full othmilk of human kindness 1516 whereas Lady Macbeth wishes to be unsexed and offers her milk for gall1547 However deconstruction is not concerned with mere reversals of order but with a sense of undesirability once an accepted order has been shaken It denies the ultimate polarization of meaning of binary oppositions such as foulfair goodbad manwoman and suggests that meanings not so clear-cut Banquo can only conceive of a world where meaning is secure Although he acknowledges that instruments of darkness may exist his view that they Win us
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