The Gender Implementation of the “Power” Frame in Shakespeare’s Tragedy “Macbeth”

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2020, Vol. 6. № 2 (22)

The Gender Implementation of the “Power” Frame in Shakespeare’s Tragedy “Macbeth”

For citation: Lobanova E. A. 2020. “The Gender Implementation of the ‘Power’ Frame in Shakespeare’s Tragedy ‘Macbeth’”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 6, no. 2 (22), pp. 19-36. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2020-6-2-19-36

About the author:

Ekaterina A. Lobanova, Assistant Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Intercultural Professional Communication in Natural Sciences, Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Tyumen;; ORCID: 0000-0001-7316-6464


This article studies the cognitive features of the “power” frame and its gender implementation in the historical tragedy by W. Shakespeare “Macbeth”. Here, the author examines the concepts of “frame” and “gender” in linguistics, studying different approaches to their definition. The relevance of this work is determined by the close attention of the contemporary linguistics to these concepts, as well as their place in the contemporary academic paradigm. The academic affirmation of the “frame” and “gender” concepts designates a new step in understanding the ways and peculiarities of the language interaction, consciousness, and culture, and, consequently, it shows new aspects of the relationship of linguistics with other sciences. Nevertheless, the problems of both frame and gender are not yet fully understood. This study allows describing in detail the essence of the frame “power” and showing its meaning, use, and ways of its gender implementation in fiction, which explains the novelty of this article.

The study’s methodology is based on the cognitive-discursive analysis of the text, as well as on an integrative approach to the discourse study, which combines methods of both cognitive and gender linguistics, as well as the discourse analysis. Common research methods were used along with private linguistic methods. The application of cognitive-discursive analysis has significantly increased the depth of understanding of the “power” frame that dominates Shakespeare’s historical tragedy.

This historical text presents the central theme of political tragedy: the overthrow of the rightful ruler and the usurpation of power. The motive for the seizure of power forms a thematic core and is presented from the usurpers’ point of view. In this article, the author observes the gender shift and duality of the female and male beginnings: Shakespeare puts the female protagonist, hungry for power, among men, thus the images of Lady Macbeth and her husband come into conflict with the gender characteristics attributed to them. The play clearly traces the main idea of Machiavellianism: the goal justifies the means. The results conclude that the “power” frame is the leading one in Lady Macbeth’s monologue, thus setting one of the main themes of this tragedy.


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