Lady Macbeth Feminist Analysis

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In comparison, females were significantly limited in their ability to access political or patriarchal authority, as embodied by Lady Macbeth. During the Elizabethan era, it was customary for females to hold supportive and domestic roles as wives and hostesses. At first glance Lady Macbeth satisfies this norm. However, upon learning of the witches’ prophecies, Lady Macbeth ambitiously devises a plan in a lead to access the power she is denied her traditional gender role. Lady Macbeth desire is to wield influence as Queen of Scotland. Although to fulfil this position requires regicide. Lady Macbeth is inherently aware her capacity to do as such will be impended by her femineity. From this realisation stems her infamous plea to the forces of nature, as she begs:
“Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts,
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Make thick my blood.” (1, 5, 47-50)
Shakespeare uses this powerful soliloquy to reveal Lady Macbeth’s innermost desires: to be freed from her menstrual cycle, frailty of womanhood, and feminized traits of pity. Ruthlessness would replace these traits, transforming her into a more masculine identity that is able to gain access to power.
However, Lady Macbeth’s power depends on her husband’s, due to her disempowerment in the realm of the political. She believes her husband’s political power relies on him conforming to a more masculine identity. In order to convince Macbeth to undertake this transformation, like she did, Lady Macbeth must subvert the stereotypical role of a submissive wife and become domineering. This leads to her exercising power in the only form she can, that is, attacking Macbeth’s masculinity as she states: “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 man.”
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