What Is Masculinity In Macbeth Essay

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Time and time again, society has reinforced the idea that gender functions as more than just an individual 's’ genotype; genders not only set expectations for an individual but also they also create societal norms that may confine or limit an individual from expressing their true emotions. In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth he implements different characters to highlight a connotational evolution. While throughout the play the term “man” is used to describe masculinity traits in an individual, the attributes that control one 's masculinity shift a great deal. In the beginning of the play, the characters describe the ideal traits a man should possess, however, as the play unfolds what it means to be a “man” is seen in a whole new light.
Gender expectations
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The traits Lady Macbeth wish to portray also exhibit the traits needed to be a man. Lady Macbeth states, “Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty make thick my blood stop up the access and passage to remorse”(1.5.47-51). In other words, Lady Macbeth is willing to give up her femininity to become a man so that she may in turn, possess manly qualities that would be unethical to possess as a woman. She wants to become a man so that her “blood [can be] thick”, and she can feel no remorse when having “direst cruelty”; all of these traits would help the plot to kill King Duncan. Furthermore, the traits Lady macbeth wishes to have are also the ones she wants to see manifested in Macbeth. For instance when Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth to follow through with the murder of King Duncan, she emphasizes the qualities Macbeth lacks, to illustrate characteristics a man must possess to meet society’s expectations. Lady Macbeth states, “ He is too full o ' the milk of human kindness/When you durst do it, then you were a man; And, to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the
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