Gender Roles In The Tragedy Of Macbeth

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William Shakespeare takes an unconventional turn on gender roles in “The Tragedy of Macbeth”. It has been a historical and social trend for society to be predominantly ruled by males. In addition, females are expected to be subservient and responsive to all of her husband’s needs and are viewed as weak and feeble. This trend is seen at the beginning of the play. Ultimately, the play seeks and attempts to define what it means to be considered masculine and feminine in society’s standards. However, as the plot progresses, these female and male roles switch. Female characters take on a more masculine front, while male characters seem to display more feminine characteristics. This is a highly unusual portrayal of characters, especially during Shakespeare’s time. His attitude towards social standards are one of scorn. Therefore, Shakespeare’s twist on gender roles exhibits his disdain towards the traditional, stereotypical standards of society through the characterization of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, the Three Witches and their influence on the Macbeths, and the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are described as characters that adhere to the traditional gender role construct. Macbeth is first presented as the a noble and general in King Duncan’s army, the ruler of Scotland. In Act 1 Scene…show more content…
After reading Macbeth’s letter, Lady Macbeth begins to show a more masculine front. She entertains the idea of her husband being crowned king, thus awakening a hungry greed for power within her. To achieve this goal, she devised a mischievous plot to get Macbeth to the throne: to murder Duncan, the King of Scotland. However, she expresses doubt towards her husband’s character. In Act 1 Scene 5, she states, “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt
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