Destruction Of Gender Roles In Macbeth

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William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, takes place in 11th century Scotland, and has its own portrayal of society. Although it may not be entirely accurate, the society that Shakespeare develops has distinctive roles and societal expectations for each gender. In this society lives Macbeth, a military nobleman trusted by the king who eventually becomes king himself, but through a murder encouraged by his wife, Lady Macbeth. His reign is tainted with inhumane acts such as hiring assassins to kill one of his friends, and ordering the massacre of another friend’s family. At the conclusion of the play, Lady Macbeth dies from unknown causes, Macbeth is murdered by Macduff, another nobleman, and Scotland rejoices because Macbeth’s reign of terror has come to an end. Attempting to find the cause of Macbeth’s descent into insanity, many have blamed certain characters and circumstances for Macbeth’s downfall. However, using motifs such as gender roles and the supernatural, Shakespeare shows that the cause of Macbeth’s loss of humanity and downfall was Lady Macbeth’s failure to conform to gender roles.

Lady Macbeth resists the gender
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She rejected her gender role so she could take matters into her own hands, a move that allowed her to persuade Macbeth to kill Duncan. This action is the cause for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to live in fear that someone may discover what they did, forcing Macbeth to kill those who he perceives dangerous, making him insane. Lady Macbeth, seeing all the trouble she has caused, also goes insane from her guilt. The supernatural are a visual representation of Lady Macbeth’s internal struggles, and they give the reader a better understanding of Lady Macbeth’s character. Lady Macbeth’s rejection of gender roles, illustrated by the supernatural, gave her the ability to control Macbeth, but it was her control that would lead to the downfall and death of her husband and
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