The Thick Womb

  • Amy Kenny
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)


Scottish Highlanders were typically denigrated as unintelligent brutes in early modern geohumoralism, given their exposure to cold, violent winds that penetrated their internal temperaments. This chapter discusses how geohumoral notions of breastfeeding, menstruation, and sexuality contribute to Lady Macbeth’s characterization, as she cultivates an early modern Scottish perspective on her female anatomy to control her humoral temperament and internal passions. Over the course of the play, Lady Macbeth is impacted by a lack of sleep, humoral imbalance, and smoky air, rendering her vulnerable to the surrounding, toxic environment. By scrutinizing the semiotic coding of the amenorrhea she forcefully summons, this chapter recovers her geohumoral subjectivity as significant to her madness.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy Kenny
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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