Comparing Masculinity In Pain By Geoffrey Canada And Macbeth By William Shakespeare

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Susan Griffin once said, “Masculinity is a terrible problem, as we construct and shape it.” Men in today’s society cannot show emotion and cannot act the way they want for society has built up an expectation for men to follow. Society makes men its puppets and plays them the way it wants. Men often feel pressured because of highly set expectation of society and this is expressed in the article “Pain,” by Geoffrey Canada and the play Macbeth, written by Shakespeare. “Pain” is about a young football player who had injured himself while playing football, while Macbeth is about a man who lusts for power. Even though the article and the play have different storylines, both of them draw parallels when it comes to masculinity. Geoffrey Canada’s article, …show more content…

The author conveys how society has this completely unrealistic opinions on how men should act, which end up pressuring men so much that they become emotionless robots. Society expects men to be an emotionless hard exterior who show no emotion whatsoever, even when they are going through one of the most excruciating pain that they have ever experienced. This is exactly what happened when Canada tried to catch the football, but ended up hitting the barbecue pit’s metal rods. He tried so hard to hold in the pain and “tried to act like a big boy” (Canada 487) for that is what the coaches and the parents expect of him. He could not even cry in agony like he wanted, but he instead, “[made] a humming sound deep in the back of [his] throat” (487). At a young age, parents and coaches are the most influensive people children have. In this article, parents and coaches express this unrealistic expectation of boys to be masculine which ends up being the reason why Canada cannot express the feelings that he wants to express. Canada tries to abide by this impractical supposition by pressuring himself to act like this tough guy in front of his friends to please the idea of masculinity. He acts as if breaking a leg is an everyday occurrence and tries not to act bothered by it. For this cause, he ends up not being himself around other people to please them and …show more content…

Towards the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth criticizes Macbeth for being nervous to kill Duncan by saying, “Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life/And live a coward in thine own esteem (Shakespeare I.vii. 43-49). Lady Macbeth starts to manipulate Macbeth by saying that he is not a man, but rather a coward, which Macbeth takes it to heart and tries to reach her expectation of being a man. Macbeth tries to hide his sensitivity and prove Lady Macbeth wrong by killing Duncan. Moreover, Macbeth tries to prove his masculinity even more during a dinner where he thinks he sees Banquo. When he sees Banquo sitting in Macbeth’s seat, Macbeth trembles and says, “What man dare, I dare. (...) If trembling I inhabit then, protest me/ The baby of a girl.” (III.iv.120-129). Even though Macbeth sees his best friend’s ghost, he tries to hold in the emotions he is feeling during that situation to prove Lady Macbeth that he is masculine. He is forced to act a different way with his wife and his peers, for he needs to maintain the image of him being masculine. Therefore, Macbeth and Canada have to act a different way around their peers for their actions reflects how masculine they are in society’s

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