The Oppression Of Women In Shakespeare's Macbeth

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In today’s society, women are breaking down barriers every day. From fierce political leaders, to the driven young girl pushing her way through medical school, women are now pushing their way past stereotypes, and marking their place in society. Young girls are able to watch movies or read a book and see a wicked female protagonist saving the world without the help of a man. Finally, it is culturally acceptable, and not deemed ‘girly’, or ‘’cliche’. Unfortunately, this is only in recent decades, as most classic literature places female characters in a box, hardly ever letting them out. In Macbeth, one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays, the character of Lady Macbeth at first appears as if she breaks the mold of what a woman should be, and how she should act. She is driven and takes control of the conflict at hand. Her characterization appears new and fresh. Unfortunately, Shakespeare takes this revolutionary depiction of a woman and falls short. His shortcomings can be explained through his initial characterization, her character arc and demise, and her unwavering loyalty to her husband. Upon introduction,…show more content…
The unmerciful women he had created slowly begins her descent into madness. While, yes, Lady Macbeth’s character arc, in theory, is an impactful one, it is here that Shakespeare begins to lose the power he had initially bestowed upon her. “How could such a strong character so quickly fall prey to uneasiness? According to materialist feminism theory, despite her earlier show of strength, Lady Macbeth’s eventual weakness is a result of a patriarchal portrayal of her gender,” Lady Macbeth ultimately succumbs to her actions, as she is too weak to handle the reality of what she has done (Feminism in Shakespeare’s Macbeth). In portraying her in this fashion, Shakespeare loses the strong, independent woman Lady Macbeth had all the potential to

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