"Are you a man?" (3.4.58) Lady Macbeth asks her husband as he exhibits signs of unstableness when confronted with Banquo 's ghost. A simple question that seems unsubstantial, rhetorical, as she obviously knows her husband 's sex. However, it is worth closer investigation: Why is Lady Macbeth questioning her husband 's masculinity? Smith states: "[M]asculinity, in cultures all over the world is not a natural given, something that comes with possession of male sexual organs, but an achievement, something that must be worked toward and maintained" (131). At a first glance, people familiar with Shakespeare 's tragedies Macbeth and Coriolanus might state that the men presented in these works are indeed bursting with masculinity after this definition: The honoured nobleman Macbeth, who does not shy away from fighting for his land and status, as well as the prototypical warrior Coriolanus, who is defined almost exclusively by his strength
A story of death and savagery describes the “Tragedy of Macbeth.” by William Shakespeare. This legendary story follows a man’s ruthless actions, in order to carry out the prophecy put before him. Macbeth’s horrid actions are escalated from the prophecy, of him becoming king, from three witches(1.3.48-50). The third witch brings the inviting line to Macbeth when she says, “All hail, Macbeth,that shalt be king hereafter”(1.3.50)! This implies that Macbeth will become king, even though there is currently a great king who everyone adores.Macbeth realizes that the only way for them to become royal is through the murder of King Duncan and his sons. Macbeth immediately sends his wife, Lady Macbeth, a letter hidden with murderous innuendos. Lady Macbeth agrees with their plan to become royal. Throughout Macbeth, Macbeth commits unspeakable crimes and is feared by many. Though Macbeth was the one slaughtering all the people,Lady Macbeth is more to blame. This is because of her savage, and disturbed mind throughout all the murders committed by Macbeth.
The namesake of the play, “Macbeth” is a man who faced a decision between his own personal passion and his moral obligations and duties. The two choices pulled at him and seemed to torment him even after he made a decision. Through the conflict that Macbeth felt because of his decisions, the reader can better empathize with him, and can obtain a more profound lesson from the story concerning decisions between personal passions and moral obligations.
In Act 1, Shakespeare presents Macbeth with admired masculine qualities countered with Lady Macbeth criticising his idiosyncrasies. Lady Macbeth’s definition of a man is disparate to others’. In Scene 2, the captain labels Macbeth as “brave”. This is a venerated and respected quality on the battlefield. King Duncan later refers to
Macbeth takes place in medieval Scotland, where gender barriers were very strict. 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. However, she “gradually falls apart, consumed by guilt, and eventually commits suicide”. (Klett)
She is malicious not only in words but also in her intent. Her sole object is to obtain power and wealth, with its attendant treasures. Lady Macbeth lacks humanity and regrets that she was not born as a man. She understands that power and violence are synonymous with manhood and bravery. Additionally, Lady Macbeth interests’ and ambition, override her love for even her husband, Macbeth. “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. It makes her more ferocious than her masculine counterpart and hence her dominance over Macbeth. As well as she invokes the spirits to deprive her of feminism and make her as volatile as men, so that she can fulfill her dream of being the queen. Lady Macbeth is a bold and ambitious woman. She has implicit faith in herself. She wants to remove every obstacle in her pursuit of becoming the queen. Her ambition is not only for herself but also for Macbeth. Nevertheless, with all her fervor, she wants him to be as strong as her. “Make thick my blood./Stop up the access and passage to remorse,/That no compunctious visitings of nature/Shake my fell purpose/Come to my woman’s breasts,/And take my milk for gall” (1.5.44-49). Lady Macbeth never wavers in her goal. Like men, she has the trait to be gruesome and diabolical in nature. She has determined for herself the course to be pursued and nothing can hinder her. She does not need the prophecy of the witches to urge her. She is aware of her strength and she is resolute in her aim. Knowing Macbeth’s weakness,
Would you do anything to be loyal? William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is about a husband and wife who force their way to the crown but suffer in the aftermath of their actions. Lady Macbeth is not a monster. She is a loyal though misguided wife, not without tenderness and not without conscience.
Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, focuses on the tumultuous events that surround a regicide. Despite being the shortest of Shakespeare’s plays, in his critical study of the play A. C. Bradley concludes that due to its vehement nature the audience is left with an impression “not of brevity but of speed” . The principal female character of Lady Macbeth is arguably one of his most contentious. Consumed with intense passion, ambition and greed she challenges the subservient role of the traditional Elizabethan woman. She has disturbed, horrified and intrigued both contemporary and modern audiences alike through her powerful diction. 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.
To be loyal to the king is to have integrity, to show this in a tragedy such as William Shakespeare’s Scottish play Macbeth, the use of literary devices is mandatory. Shakespeare showcases a variety in character and plot development; he manipulates this ability he possesses to dissolve the character’s integrity within the play. The overall thematic message of the play is ‘Disloyalty to the king means to lose integrity, consequently to lose integrity is to be destroyed.’ Macbeth shows his integrity in Act one, Scene two. Shakespeare proves Macbeth possesses integrity in Act one, Scene two. Macbeth’s integrity becomes undone in Act two, Scene two, consequently, the complete destruction of his honour is delivered in a killing blow in Act Five, Scene eight.
In the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, there are various motivations that can lead an individual's course of action. The ambitions and motivation that an individual develop through life are the very factors that play an important role in shaping their identity and character. In fact, some of these factors have the potential to influence the minds and behaviours of many other individuals. William Shakespeare demonstrates how an individual can start off with a significant and meaningless purpose, but then become so altered by the environment that they are placed in, that they establish motivations and aspirations that radically impact both themselves and others around them. This motivation that he discusses in the play not only impact
The theme of Macbeth is destruction filled mind with power-hungry like wolves fighting to become leader of the pack. In this world, rather Macbeth fighting for his power to become king. “If good, why do I yield to that suggestion. Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair, and make my seated heart knock at my ribs against the use of nature? Present fears are less than horrible imaginings. My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, shakes so my single state of man who function is
When the audience sees Lady Macbeth act like a traditional hostess despite her murderous desires, her treachery becomes amplified. Before Duncan arrives, Lady Macbeth is seen on stage planning to influence her husband, who is “too full [of the] milk of human kindness,” to change his nature and murder his cousin and king, Duncan (1.5.17). She then greets Duncan with the utmost civility that is due an honored guest: “All our service, / In every point twice done and then done double” (1.6.18-19). She claims to be at his service and that Duncan is honoring them greatly with his presence, but this happens less than twenty lines after proclaiming that she wants to plan his murder. Here, Shakespeare creates a direct juxtaposition of Lady Macbeth’s altering personas. The audience is able to see her as a power-hungry manipulator followed immediately with her smiling and showering
In comparison, females were significantly limited in their ability to access political or patriarchal authority, as embodied by Lady Macbeth. During the Elizabethan era, it was customary for females to hold supportive and domestic roles as wives and hostesses. At first glance Lady Macbeth satisfies this norm. However, upon learning of the witches’ prophecies, Lady Macbeth ambitiously devises a plan in a lead to access the power she is denied her traditional gender role. Lady Macbeth desire is to wield influence as Queen of Scotland. Although to fulfil this position requires regicide. Lady Macbeth is inherently aware her capacity to do as such will be impended by her femineity. From this realisation stems her infamous plea to the forces of nature, as she begs:
Throughout literature, we see human characteristics in our characters. Characteristics such as punishment, downfall, middling character, free choice, and nobility. In this play called Macbeth we see all these characteristics fall into place throughout the good and bad choices acted on by our main character Macbeth. The play demonstrates how power will make or break character and lead to his/her own destruction by possessing a few of these characteristics.
Aware of Macbteh’s weaknesses, Lady Macbeth knows that he is too gentle to carry out what she may have in mind, and that she will need to help him. As she also knows of her own weaknesses, the frailty of womanhood, she calls upon an occult force to rid herself of them. In the following quote "Come you spirits that tend to