An Evil Wife in Macbeth The stereotype women are supposed to be nice, gentle and kind. In some other cases, some women are crueler than men. In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare tells a story of Lady Macbeth, a ruthless wife who manipulates her husband to achieve her evil desires. Lady Macbeth is an evil woman because she is extremely ambitious, greedy and controlling which shows that her desires leads her to be a ruthless person. Lady Macbeth is extremely ambitious in terms of gaining power and advantages for her own life.
From murder to greed Shakespeare’s Macbeth portrays a story of how one’s flaws can transform into a person’s way of thinking and acting. Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth changes from a cold-hearted, greedy, shell of a human body into a guilt ridden woman. Her selfish desires met with ambition and a want for power pushed her into driving Macbeth to kill Duncan. Both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth become very guilty because of the crime they have committed. Although Macbeth actively kills the King, Lady Macbeth was more guilty of Duncan’s murder than Macbeth.
Gender is a common thread that is woven through most major Shakespearean plays. An argument that follows the story lines of works such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and a more dominant role in Othello. Written in 1603, Othello examines the contrast between female and male characters, and where their place is in society. As this was written in a time where women were seen as the lesser sex compared to their male counterparts. Males take on more power hungry roles, drowning out the roles of females by minimizing their thoughts and actions.
The saying that love is blind, is one that is very wrong. Love is not blind, it is merely a faint line that many individuals chose not to see. During Shakespeare’s time, the societal norms that cultivated women were very precise. Women were held to high standards to both look and act in specific ways, but did society ever take it too far? Many poets during Shakespeare’s time wrote traditional blazon sonnets, ones that compared women to the most wondrous things life has to offer; gems, jewels, plants, and stars.
It is no wonder that Malcolm’s appellation reveals Lady Macbeth as a “fiend like queen” and her husband, Macbeth, “the dead butcher.” After all, it is Lady Macbeth who goads on the death of his father, King Duncan. More importantly, it is the deceptively satanic queen, and the falsely labelled “butcher” that ultimately jeopardise Malcolm’s rightful descending title of “King.” Thus, Malcolm’s epithet appears fully justified; but perhaps in retrospect, Lady Macbeth’s character is far from the one-sided, villainous connotations that a “fiend” entails. Despite appearing to completely transgress against social convention through rejecting her maternal instincts; Lady Macbeth’s sudden expression of humanity and protection of her husband, allow us to conclude that Lady Macbeth is not merely just a “fiend like queen.” Lady Macbeth is presented as purely fulfilling the role of a loyal wife. Through commanding her husband imperative verbs such as “sleep,” “wash [your hands]” and “speak not,” she associates herself with the comforting gestures a mother offers a child. By ordering Macbeth to complete these actions, Lady Macbeth is in actual fact protecting him from the guilt and insanity that blood is often associated with, seen through many parts in the play.
Even when ignoring the context of the time period, Medea by Euripides is clearly a patriarchal story. This fact is evident at several major points in the play, and the theme of the roles of men and women is consistent throughout. Firstly, nobody seems to question Jason, Medea’s husband’s abandonment of her, it is a completely acceptable act. Both him and her king, Creon, casually and brutally push her aside, while also admitting they are frightened of her cleverness, due to the fact she is a woman. While Medea is set in a male-dominated society, there are still several inconstancies and gaps, which enrich the play and make it unconventional and uncomfortable for conservative audiences.
The doctors that found her assumes a feminine role saying, “I think, but dare not speak (5.1.69).” Lady Macbeth’s power, at that point, had become so strong that male characters were acting in ways that were expected of women. Her power, along with her insanity, left the Doctor dumbfounded. Men expected women to think but not speak. This swap of roles starts the end of the play with the start of downfall of the Macbeths. As the start of the play, Lady Macbeth held most of the relationship power between the two of them and at the end left both of them in
In the 1500-1600s women were not treated the same as men. Shakespeare portrays women a certain way to break the mold of what women were supposed to be. Women are seen standing up for themselves and being bold which was not supposed to happen. Even though Shakespeare was a bit of a revolutionary with the idea of women, the other characters in his plays still view women much like real people in his time. Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Othello are similar in how women are viewed by other characters.
Brooke Ranson Mr. Ritchey British Literature 15 November 2014 Gender Roles in Macbeth William Shakespeare’s writing style often reflects the stereotypes of men and women’s various roles and authorities in society, as well as how they interpret the authentic challenges those representations face. Shakespeare utilizes gender roles in the story of Macbeth to capture the audience 's attention to society’s stereotype discriminations. He does this solely through Macbeth’s complicated and rather ambitious wife, Lady Macbeth. She is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and terrifying female characters. The important character is written to defeat the stereotypes that women are only to be known compassionate and nurturers.
Instead, Wilde treats the idea with the same sense of freedom, compassion and toleration with which he looked at everything in life. His kind and liberal approach towards the issue of changing image of woman is vastly depicted in his plays through his female protagonists whom he provides the liberty and the space to be what they are. Wilde’s women characters are presented and projected in the plays in all their variety and versatility. In the portrayal of Salomé of the eponymous play, for instance, Wilde makes a “heroine out of this sublimated sinner,” (85) though, on the face of it, she is a murderess consumed by her sexual cravings. In this context, Clement Scott, the influential critic of the Daily Telegraph, observes that Wilde “has fascinated us with a savage.” (79) Another illustration of Wilde’s toleration is depicted in the acutely narcissistic personality of Mrs Cheveley of the play An Ideal Husband.