The Aesthetic Response: The Reader in Macbeth

Folia Linguistica Et Litteraria 12 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This article seeks to explore the different strategies the Bard uses in order to evoke sympathy in the reader for Macbeth who is so persistent in the path of evil. What strategy does Shakespeare use in order to provoke such a deep emotional response from his readers? By using paradoxes in the play, the Bard creates a world of illusion, fear and wild imagination. The paradoxical world in Macbeth startles us into marvel and fear, challenges our commonly held opinions, and reshapes our thought in the process (Platt 8). As the text involves the reader in the formation of illusion and the simultaneous formation of the means whereby the illusion is punctured, “reading reflects the process by which we gain experience. Once the reader is entangled, his own preconceptions are continually overtaken so that the text becomes his present while his own ideas fade into the past. As soon as it happens, he is open to the immediate experience of the text” (Iser, The Implied Reader 290). Mesmerised by Macbeth’s powerful imagination and poetic language, the reader engages in a dialogical interaction with the play and eventually finds light in the murky world of the text. Regardless of Macbeth’s diabolical world, the reader ventures into it, shares it with him and ultimately wakes up from its dizzying stupor. In reading Macbeth, the reader leaves behind the familiar world of his experience in order to participate in the adventure the text offers him. The edifying effect of the tragedy in the end is the reward the reader reaps after eventually waking up from the nightmarish dream of the text.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Transcendental Element in the Absent Presence.Maggie Burnaman Martin - 1995 - Dissertation, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
The Nature of Fiction.Gregory Currie - 1990 - Cambridge University Press.
Reader as user: Applying interface design techniques to the Web.Karen McGrane Chauss - 1996 - Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy 1 (2).
The Reader's Role in the Realization of Luke's Purpose.James Green Somerville - 1991 - Dissertation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dante As Philosopher at the Boundary of Reason.Christine O’Connell Baur - 2002 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 76:193-210.


Added to PP

4,615 (#1,089)

6 months
641 (#1,468)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ali Salami
University of Tehran

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response.Wolfgang Iser - 1979 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 38 (1):88-91.

Add more references