Macbeth challenges this notion by creating the dynamic of prevailing female figures. Macbeth, the main character, is most subject to this dynamic throughout the play. Nontraditional roles of masculinity double as feministic influence and guidance through the characters Lady Macbeth, the Weird Sisters, and Hecate. Lady Macbeth takes upon a commanding role to guide her husband in the direction she wishes. The influence of Lady Macbeth is most
Lady Macbeth is extremely ambitious in terms of gaining power and advantages for her own life. Lady Macbeth becomes more ambitious when she sees the opportunity to take King Duncan’s throne away. She reads a letter about the three prophecies that are given to Macbeth. As Lady Macbeth reads the letter from Macbeth, she realizes that Macbeth has the potential to be more than he is and he can be the source to bring the opportunity to her fulfill her ambitions. She prays for the spirits to exchange her feminine qualities for masculine qualities when she says, “That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here / and fill me with the crown to the toe top-full / Of direst cruelty” (1.5, 41-43).
In the text it quotes that “Lady Macbeth has a desire for power into desire for love and freedom outside of her marriage and the confines of her father -in-law’s household, and she is willing to kill for it” (Thomas 83). She feels that taking the life of a man at that will give her the right confidence to take over in the relationship. She was eager to get the job done pressuring Macbeth throughout Act I and II. she has a real desire for power. She has also said “ that which hath made them drunk hath made me bold, what hath quenched them hath given me fire” (Mac.
She goads Macbeth and convinces him to murder King Duncan. During this period of time Lady Macbeth’s masculine traits are at their peak, as she states “That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,” (Act 1, Scene). This phrase is vital in Lady Macbeth’s character development as it emphasizes the masculinity that she portrays. As contemporary audiences are much more open minded about gender equality, are the dominance of Lady Macbeth in the relationship between her and Macbeth is not surprising. However, as this play is based in the Jacobean times and was staged during the 1600’s, this characterisation of Lady Macbeth by Shakespeare was extremely contentious and controversial, as females didn’t have much authority in a relationship when compared to
She warps Macbeth’s internal conflict, the action to murder, or not to murder, by questioning the essence of his manhood. She entices Macbeth with the notion of kingship, the belief that being king will make him a greater man. Yet, the fall of Macbeth is not as easily done as the descent of Adam and Eve. While still not convince, but conflicted by words of his wife, Lady Macbeth says, “I have given suck, and know how tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this”(I.VII.55-60). As a final effort to taste the forbidden fruit, Lady Macbeth contrast Macbeth’s intention with his actions by comparing it to her baby whose brains is bashed out.
This coincidentally adds to the assurance of Macbeth’s prophecy which is that Macbeth will become king, but King Duncan is still alive. Moreover, this realization leads Lady Macbeth to think about murdering King Duncan for her and Macbeth to gain power. In addition to Lady Macbeth’s cruel character, she reveals her desirous thoughts towards the crown. Lady Macbeth continues her speech and mentions her unquenching thirst to take Duncan’s power. “Make thick my blood.
Testing a man’s manliness during this time era is an assured way to receive any wish, so that is what Lady Macbeth did so precisely. In fact, Wayne C. Booth notes in Shakespeare for Students, “She twits him for cowardice, plays upon the word “man,” making it seem that he becomes more a man by doing the manly deed.” It is evident that Lady Macbeth already realizes how to maintain control over her husband, so what would the purpose of being unsexed be? She deliberately uses her charm and questioning of Macbeth’s manhood to develop his contrasting feelings into what Lady Macbeth believes. If pursuing additional power is what Lady Macbeth desires, no explanation will ever make sense because she possesses a myriad of competence that directs Macbeth straight toward the path of her ambitions for him to become King of
In the play Macbeth, William Shakespeare uses the subversion of gender roles to reinforce Elizabethan notions of female and male behavior through the characters of Lady Macbeth, the three witches, and Macbeth. The ideal woman in Shakespearean times was submissive and docile. She is expected to be a mother and hostess, and little else. However, Lady Macbeth is the exact opposite of this notion. She constantly challenges and manipulates her husband to feed her ever-growing ambition.
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
Lady Macbeth questions Macbeth’s manhood when he had doubts towards killing Duncan, saying “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”(1.5.46-48).When Lady Macbeth’s ambition to be queen begins to overpower her morals and her ability to see the wrongs of her actions, she becomes furious that Macbeth is not as driven to kill Duncan as she is. Lady Macbeth also acts as an instigator when she exclaims “I have given suck and know how tender ‘tis to love the babe that milks me. I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this.” (1.5.55-60) to Macbeth, guilting and pushing him to murder Duncan. She insists that Macbeth promised that he would be king, and that he needs to kill Duncan in order to take the throne and fulfill his promise to her, because she would go to just as drastic of measures to fulfill a promise to him. Lady Macbeth’s instigation and ambition to be queen corrupts Macbeth and pushes him to kill
Lady Macbeth in the beginning of the play is manipulative, most of the times she manipulates her husband into doing either what she wants or what she thinks he should do. For example, when Macbeth does not want to kill Duncan anymore, Lady Macbeth convinces him by saying “from this time such I account thy love. Art thou afeared to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire? (I.vii line 38-41). Besides, the audience see Lady Macbeths is influencing her husband’s feelings by she is using her love as a weapon because she is saying do it or I will not love you.