Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jennifer Chang

Reader 2

Diana Wyenn

Reader 3

Michelle Decker

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Shringi D Vikram


Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth may be interpreted as a broad delineation of the deep gender binary that prevails almost globally in today’s 21st century. This binary confines men and women within separate, supposedly impermeable categories; the category of men is defined by its possession of supposedly male qualities and the category of women is defined by its possession of supposedly female qualities. And these female qualities, and thus women, are less permitted in society-building positions. However, the text also argues against the exclusion of women from polity and artistry, and against the suppression of femininity in private and public models of interaction—and this is further bolstered by a female King Duncan and Thane of Fife in a 2020 adaptation of the play produced by Pomona College. In addition, this cross-gender adaptation disarrays the impermeability of the gender binary—by suggesting that character-qualities are not the exclusive property of one of the mentioned categories only—and unsettles the very idea of a discrete gender by unveiling its performative nature.

This thesis also examines the process of constructing the character of Lady Macbeth, by a post-colonial actor, in this ungendered production.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.