Men were supposed to act as strong fighters, while women were locked in the domestic sphere. These gender roles are prominent in the character developments of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. At first, Macbeth is a strong, heroic solider that shows unbounded courage in battle and loyalty to his king. As the play progresses, he becomes cold, ruthless, and miserable. Lady Macbeth takes on a “manly” role, which is surprising because of how patriarchal the society is.
This terrible chain of events may not have come about if there were never any masculine or feminine expectations for these characters to fulfil. Of all the potential causes or suspects of Macbeth’s tragedies, gender stereotypes are internal and inescapable and no matter what the characters do they can't avoid the expectations society sets for them, which is why this particular cause of the tragedies is considered the worst and most to
In the popular play Macbeth, Shakespeare compares the gender stereotypes portrayed to those different pre-existing ideas from other generations such as the 1900’s, the 50’s, and even today 's society. Macbeth has plenty of examples of the exaggeration of gender roles that clearly differentiate male and female by construing their proper roles as polar opposite or complementary. Examples proving that there are gender stereotypes in Macbeth pertain to characters such as Lady Macbeth, The Witches, and Macbeth himself. In Macbeth, the many different stereotypes of gender roles from throughout the century to today’s society have been displayed in many aspects of the play. With examples of the exaggeration of gender constructs pertaining to the male
Not only women here have the gender roles. Macduff's family is killed and it is looked down on when men cry, yet here it is more emotionally taken by the audience than when Lady Macbeth gender roles are flipped. Having Macduff be manly man yet cry at the death of his family makes him more of a ‘well rounded character’ and lady macbeth's character is more ‘damaged’. The end of Lady Macbeth's power left so broken he had little response to it.
“Come, you spirits, That tend on mortal thoughts,/unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full/ Of dire cruelty” (1.5.41-44). Lady Macbeth is the personification of male dominance, ruthlessness and violence. She hopes that she could take control of all action. She yearns to be a man and her implication is that she is more masculine than Macbeth. Her drive and violent nature is more akin to men and their masculinity.
Shakespeare, like any other man in the 16th and 17th century, saw ambitious and dominant women as evil and even disturbing or disturbed. From Macbeth, we can see Shakespeare feels women should be challenged and punished because they are trying to change society. Nowadays these ambitious and dominant women are regarded as brave and respected because of their ambition, such as Lady Macbeth’s ambition to become Queen. Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as mentally disturbed.
It’s no surprise, that Shakespeare’s Macbeth was clearly constructed as a rebellion against femininity roles of the time. During the Elizabethan era, women were raised to believe they were inferior to men since men obtained desired masculine qualities such as strength, and loyalty, whereas women were viewed as figures of hospitality (1; 6; 28-31). Obviously, not being tempted by the luxury of subservient women, William Shakespeare rebuked this twisted belief, applying that women deserve more respect than their kitchen tables.
Well Lady Macbeth, who is dead set on having absolute power, disagrees with that. She convinces Macbeth to kill, to cover up the murders, and tries to convince him that these murders will get them to the top. Lady Macbeth calls upon the witches and states, “unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty” (Macbeth Act 1 Scene 5 lines 31 and 31). This shows that while in the pursuit of power, Lady Macbeth wanted it so much that she asked the witches to “unsex” her and make her more like man. But along with that you see the theme of gender roles are uncertain which ties into Lady Macbeth leading Macbeth in this pursuit of power, also giving him the ambition that she wants him to
In the beginning Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth was a ruthless and masculine woman. She showed the audience that, mentally and emotionally, she was stronger than Macbeth. Although as the story started to continue the audience began to see that she was becoming mentally insane. Throughout the story there was also evidence of shakespeare showing the more masculinity you had the more cuel you became.
It is clear that men and women have two different cultures in Shakespeare’s time, and the relationship between the two was hierarchical. Throughout Shakespeare’s play, it is obvious that the feminine emotions are far less desirable than the masculine. When Lady Macbeth plots to kill Duncan in order for Macbeth to become king, she is aware that he must suppress his natural “love, compassion, pity, [and] remorse” in order to kill Duncan, and she will need to ignore the same emotions, “which she clearly thinks of as feminine” (180). Macbeth, of course, eventually gives in to the gender definitions of his wife and society and kills Duncan. “He is on his way literally and figuratively to becoming the kind of man his wife has urged” (183).
The women in Macbeth are presented by Shakespeare to be powerful and ambitious which was unlike the typical views during Jacobean times. The playwright portrays Lady Macbeth and the witches to be highly influential to male characters in the play, which again contrasts the contemporary views to that time. Their ambition and power are demonstrated through the perversion of nature. This highlights the evil and immoral side, they possess. Shakespeare, however, presented Lady Macbeth and the witches to be manipulative and cunning, rather than violent like Macbeth was during the play.
Women have always been portrayed as the weaker sex compared to men. It has been demonstrated in history itself and throughout literary works. Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Homer’s The Odyssey, however, portray women to be more powerful than men, even when their society thought otherwise and underestimated them because of their gender. Lady Macbeth, The Three Witches, Queen Arête and Penelope demonstrate the astute, charming, and ambitious side of women that was overlooked by men when it came to having power and making decisions.
This study will focus on the way in which Shakespeare crafts his play and uses dramatic devices in his portrayal of Lady Macbeth in order to confront the gender stereotypes of the time, femininity and the natural order of society. During the early 17th century there was a substantial fear that if women were liberated from their domestic, maternal roles, the historically patriarchal society would unravel. With prevailing challenges of gender such as “When you durst do it, then you were a man” Shakespeare uses the character of Lady Macbeth to transgress the natural limits concomitant with her sex. In order to be able to answer the research question, it is vital to concretely establish the contemporary gender roles and the context of the play.
Celia Beyers Tinti Period 1/5 12 April 2015 Literary Analysis: Macbeth In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, he presents the character of Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is shown, as a character that schemes into making rebellious plots. She reveals the desire for wanting to lose her feminine qualities in order to be able to gain more masculine ones.
Although the perspective of women in the Elizabethan era was much different from the perspective of manhood, it was also similar in a sense that manhood and womanhood both played an essential role during their era. The thought of men being the ones to do things such as commit murder and be ambitious is still prevalent today. In our society we view women as people who are soft and not quite as ambitious as the opposite sex. The notion that women are incapable of committing murder is obscure as they are physically capable of doing harm to any human body as well as being able to have ambition such as