William Shakespeare portrayed the character Lady Macbeth to be extremely ruthless, malicious and manipulative. Thus, being the reason she could easily convince Macbeth to do her will, yet still put on such a convincing performance in front of those who knew nothing of her and her husband’s actions. Lady Macbeth shows her complexity constantly throughout the story when she shares her view-point on masculinity by demasculinizing her own husband, when she strategically plans the murder of the King Duncan, and finally when she finally goes crazy because of the guilt she possesses for not only her own actions but also turning her own husband into a
It is clear that men and women have two different cultures in Shakespeare’s time, and the relationship between the two was hierarchical. Throughout Shakespeare’s play, it is obvious that the feminine emotions are far less desirable than the masculine. When Lady Macbeth plots to kill Duncan in order for Macbeth to become king, she is aware that he must suppress his natural “love, compassion, pity, [and] remorse” in order to kill Duncan, and she will need to ignore the same emotions, “which she clearly thinks of as feminine” (180). Macbeth, of course, eventually gives in to the gender definitions of his wife and society and kills Duncan. “He is on his way literally and figuratively to becoming the kind of man his wife has urged” (183). Lady Macbeth pushes her husband to “compete in the male hierarchy,” making her a good wife (187). This is highly ironic because being a good wife is a feminine thing to do, even though she tries so hard to rid herself of these emotions and
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.
What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you see a woman with a man? You automatically think that the man is the one calling all the shots in the relationship. You also wonder why some women act as if they are the man of the relationship. But in the play Macbeth ;Shakespeare wanted to show that gender doesn't mean anything. From the year of 1040-1057; Macbeth was a king that actually existed in Scotland. Shakespeare believes that Gender roles shouldn’t be the stereotype of any relationship because the roles can be switched, and them being switched can cause a lot of trouble. When a woman thinks for men it ends up pretty bad. The play Macbeth shows that when a man follows a women's word because they love them, that's when
A world where men dominate women. This idea was the basis of many Renaissance era dramas. Writers always used to perceive certain genders as having distinctive qualities and traits. Men were held up to a higher respect and given more violent roles than women. Their tough archetypes were always present in many plays and reinforced the idea of male superiority. This fact held true, especially for a certain tragic classic by William Shakespeare. There was a misogynistic mentality towards women in Romeo and Juliet, evident through the way women were shown as objects, portrayed as weak, and made to seem unable to dictate their own lives.
Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as a power hungry and vindictive women, whose character is against the stereotypes of a Jacobean woman.
In Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, women are portrayed as either pure angelic beings and jewels, or as whores who are impure. They are objectified and shown as something to be used. The only women in this play are Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca compared to the main 6 male characters, not to mention the minor characters, who are also all male. Their depicted purpose is to belong to a man; Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca’s lives revolve around being wives to Othello, Iago and Cassio. This fits into the idea of a perfect Elizabethan woman, who’s lives are subject to their husband’s rule across all aspects, to be disposed of as men wish. Each female character is treated by men as a possession. However, there are also moments when they are presented as confident and challenge a male authority. This would have been exiting for Shakespeare’s female Elizabethan audience as women
It’s no surprise, that Shakespeare’s Macbeth was clearly constructed as a rebellion against femininity roles of the time. During the Elizabethan era, women were raised to believe they were inferior to men since men obtained desired masculine qualities such as strength, and loyalty, whereas women were viewed as figures of hospitality (1; 6; 28-31). Obviously, not being tempted by the luxury of subservient women, William Shakespeare rebuked this twisted belief, applying that women deserve more respect than their kitchen tables. However, if transcending female expectations was used as a weapon than for good, is it still considered an act of femininity? Of course not! It clears that although Shakespeare rebelled against gender roles of his time, he still believes that women/men should have moral intentions. With the character Lady Macbeth, we get a taste of what inhuman values, attitude and believes look like, and eventually what this lifestyle can lead to. (Hint: it is not good)
Lady Macbeth does not conform to medieval Scotland’s female stereotype of being a domestic wife. Macbeth calls her his “dearest partner of greatness”, which indicates they have a close relationship, and he considers her equal to him. “Lady Macbeth must act and think "like a man" because good women are by definition subservient, and can exert no recognizable authority.” When there is the idea of murdering King Duncan, she takes control of the situation. She calls on the evil sprits saying, “unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full, of direst cruelty.” She needed to be male in order to kill Duncan because it was believed only men could commit murder, since women were too dainty to do
Women, Power and the Devil; although many may incline to believe this to be the feminist holy trinity, it is, in fact, men's worst fear. Going back from second-century Christian theologian Tertullian who claimed women to be the gate of Hell (2) to a notorious American businessman who recently accused this presidential candidate of being the Devil himself (Volk and Sullivan,"Trump calls Hillary Clinton ‘the devil’"), men have always been prone to demonize women in order to prove their unfitness to govern. Shakespeare is no stranger to this thought pattern which he explores in his 1606 play, Macbeth. Indeed, Shakespeare's vile portrayal of Lady Macbeth and the Witches in the play stems from the medieval demonization of women. Through his choice
Traditional gender roles in today’s society are very different from what they once were. Shakespeare had progressive views on gender and gender roles in his time period, which he expressed through his writing. In MacBeth, Shakespeare showcases both his views and unusual roles through Macbeth and Lady MacBeth, MacDuff and the witches.
In the popular play Macbeth, Shakespeare compares the gender stereotypes portrayed to those different pre-existing ideas from other generations such as the 1900’s, the 50’s, and even today 's society. Macbeth has plenty of examples of the exaggeration of gender roles that clearly differentiate male and female by construing their proper roles as polar opposite or complementary. Examples proving that there are gender stereotypes in Macbeth pertain to characters such as Lady Macbeth, The Witches, and Macbeth himself. In Macbeth, the many different stereotypes of gender roles from throughout the century to today’s society have been displayed in many aspects of the play. With examples of the exaggeration of gender constructs pertaining to the male
Gender roles are the roles or behaviors learned by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms. Macbeth was written in 1605-1606 which was the renaissance period. In the renaissance period, women were controlled by their parents until they were married, which then the control would be turned over to the husbands. Shakespeare had a way of challenging society 's view on things(“Gender Roles of Women in the Renaissance” cedarcrest.edu). In the play Macbeth, William Shakespeare uses Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to show that gender roles can be conquered.
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. Othello, a man with military power as well as the other male roles such as Iago, Roderigo, Cassio and Brabantio who also hold roles with power and dominance over the female characters. This ultimately leads
Lady Macbeth breaks gender boundaries and asserts her dominance throughout the entire play of Macbeth. She can be described has manipulative, controlling, assertive, and driven. She is clearly one of Shakespeare’s strongest female characters, but there is more to Lady Macbeth than what meets the eye. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth plays a significant role in the plot and overall outcome of the story. The critical role she plays can be seen through her strong will, thirst for power, and the dominance she holds over Macbeth.