Article published in:Revisiting Shakespeare's Language
Edited by Annalisa Baicchi, Roberta Facchinetti, Silvia Cacchiani and Antonio Bertacca
[English Text Construction 11:1] 2018
► pp. 81–104
‘Come what come may, Time, and the Houre, runs through the roughest Day’
Temporal phraseology and the conceptual space of futurity in Macbeth
The paper maps the lexico-grammatical resources of the representation of time in Macbeth, looking in particular at the way futurity is portrayed. The study is based on concordance analysis of the top full lexical items in frequency lists and of time-related keywords (generated using the other Shakespearian tragedies as a reference corpus). Paying particular attention to the occurrences in Macbeth and his wife’s speeches, the analysis centres on the collocations and semantic preferences of the items identified. The top full lexical items in the wordlist are shown to be related to the notion of time, especially contrasting the present and the future, hence contributing to the pace of the plot in the play. Keywords highlight the connection of the notion of time with the notion of fear and with the impossibility of predicting the future. In general, the analysis depicts a conceptual space in which time and futurity are not connected to hope but to fear, thus creating a menacing universe that has its origins in the protagonist himself, in the tension between deceitful prediction and frustrated volition.
Keywords: corpus stylistics, futurity, Macbeth , Shakespeare, time
Published online: 27 August 2018
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