Gender Differences In Macbeth

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In today’s society, we have defined certain characteristics that males and females are expected to meet in order to meet social standards. For example, men are supposed to be strong and brave, while women are weak and rely on the men to take care of them. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth and his wife do whatever it takes to make sure that he obtains and remains in power. In the lives of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, the stereotypical gender roles reverse, and as the story continues, they revert back to the expected characteristics. According to the typical social standards, women are supposed to be submissive to men. However, Lady Macbeth takes total control over her husband. When they are plotting to kill Duncan she says to Macbeth, “and you shall put this night's great business into my dispatch” (1.5.421- 422). She does not believe that Macbeth has what it takes to carry out this plan. Not only does she put down her husband, but she also strives to make…show more content…
When it comes to killing Macduff’s family, for example, he does not even consult his wife. He says, “Seize upon Fife, give to the sword his wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line” (4.1.151-153). Before, he relied on his wife to achieve the heavy duty tasks, but here he becomes more independent. Just as Macbeth develops expected masculine traits, Lady Macbeth develops the feminine traits. Contrary to her behavior at the start of the play, she becomes weak and dependant on her husband. She begins to sleepwalk and says, "Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!” (5.1.56-58) She cannot bear the thought of being responsible for the death of others. This behavior mimics Macbeth’s when he first killed Duncan. At that time, he was weak and gentle, and now, Lady Macbeth has become the
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