Paul Vu Dr. Elizabeth C. Ramírez THTR 475A.03 2 May 2017 Macbeth and Medea: Breaking Expectations Macbeth by William Shakespeare and Medea by Euripides are known for their powerful critiques on the social expectations of women. Women during the time of Elizabethan and Greek theatre were often stereotyped and considered the weaker sex. Men were depicted as strong individuals who supported and protected women. However, both Shakespeare and Euripides broke expectations by portraying strong and iconic female characters in their respective plays. The idea of a strong female character was often unheard of during the time of Elizabethan and Greek Theatre. Through the thematic comparison of Macbeth, and Medea; this essay demonstrates how Shakespeare …show more content…
Manipulation is a recurring theme in Macbeth because whenever Macbeth shows signs of weakness, Lady Macbeth undermines his manhood. Lady Macbeth’s actions portray her as strong and evil rather than nurturing and good. Lady Macbeth’s character exemplifies the complete opposite of social expectations during the Elizabethan era. By being able to manipulate her husband, Lady Macbeth is also seen as being a stronger character than Macbeth. Conclusively, Lady Macbeth’s actions portray Shakespeare’s exploration of gender roles, and his evaluation of …show more content…
(1.5. 30- 34) This is important because Lady Macbeth views her femininity as a weakness that is hindering her. Lady Macbeth wants to rid herself of her menstrual cycle so that her emotions won’t get in her way of obtaining her goals. By “unsexing” herself, Lady Macbeth hopes to gain the strength of masculinity which in turn will help her in goading her husband. This demonstrates Lady Macbeth’s devotion to Macbeth because she is willing to do anything in order to help Macbeth become king. The devotion of both Lady Macbeth to Macbeth and Medea to Jason allows readers to identify with them. However, it is the betrayal of Medea, and Lady Macbeth’s quest for her husband’s kingship that causes both characters to transition into their ruthless nature. Femininity is an important theme because Lady Macbeth and Medea initially exuded love and selflessness before adopting a more masculine role. Lady Macbeth and Medea are therefore considered tragic heros because they put their loyalty above their own self-worth. Ultimately, this ideal encompasses how femininity is controlled by men, because the actions of the Macbeth and Jason were the cause for Lady Macbeth and Medea’s
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Mihir Sharma Ms. Dornford ENG 3U1-05 10 December 2015 Power and Corruption William Shakespeare in “Macbeth” and F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby, depict how greed for power and social status can make women ruthless and crafty in their aspirations. To achieve their ulterior motives, they can destroy lives through either pretense or manipulation. William Shakespeare depicts women as malicious in their intent who can camouflage their real intent to achieve their ambitions. Lady Macbeth is unable to pursue her dreams due to social constraints.
While Kimbrough believes this to be evil, Shakespeare uses Macbeth’s love for his wife and her love for her husband to show that Macbeth and his wife were victims of their society’s strict views of manliness; manliness is desirable, but femininity is not. The love for masculinity is undermined by Shakespeare as both Macbeth and his wife become mere shells of their former selves by the end of their story by becoming more masculine. Lady Macbeth goes so far as to take her own life, the ultimate display of her femininity. Finally, Kimbrough states throughout his article that Shakespeare wishes to have audiences take a second look at themselves and perhaps judge what is masculine and what is not a little
In our world, manipulation takes place in everyday life as a natural impulse for both men and women. In Macbeth, manipulation is centralized around the mask of ambition displaying dominance over humanity. Certainly the witch’s, Lady Macbeth, and our fallen hero Macbeth become puppets of Manipulation it self. Consequently the witch’s power to influence decision-making causes the initial deterioration of Macbeth, along with Lady Macbeth’s influential desire for the throne, and thus Macbeth use of manipulation to create a new embodiment of a mask suffused in ambition for his own cruel deeds.
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
Medea's character challenges societal expectations because she is a strong, intelligent woman who refuses to submit to her husband's will. Her defiance of traditional gender roles and her willingness to take matters into her own hands make her a complex and controversial character of the time. The play's portrayal of Medea can be interpreted in different ways depending on the historical context in which it is viewed. In Ancient Greece, Medea's actions would have been seen as shocking and her resistance to societal norms would have been viewed as a threat to the established order. However, in modern times, Medea's character is often viewed more sympathetically as a victim of patriarchal oppression and as a symbol of female empowerment.
Through the course of ‘Macbeth’, masculinity is presented as a driving force to Macbeth’s crimes, making it a vital theme. In this essay, focus will be on masculinity’s presentation through Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. In the beginning, Shakespeare portrays Macbeth as “valiant”: a prized masculine quality and the key to respect in their society. However, this trait becomes warped along the play. Furthermore, Lady Macbeth has power comparable to man’s
Expectations of behavior are often created by the societal stereotypes that follow gender. William Shakespeare’s Macbeth challenges traditional gender roles and defies some of the most frequent stereotypes through many of the play’s characters. Male leads such as Macbeth and Macduff act and speak to prove their manhood. In contrast, female characters such as Lady Macbeth utilize the same male characteristics to remove themselves from the conventional female archetype.
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
Through Lady Macbeth’s change from ruthless and masculin to insane, Shakespeare illustrates the impact of murder. Shakespeare portrays Lady Macbeth as masculine, and ruthless in order to illustrate unmerciful cruelty. Just after Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth about his encounter with the three witches, Lady Macbeth prayed to be stripped of any emotions. She prayed to be unsexed which doing so she would have no grieve, guilt, or regret towards killing King Duncan.
Well Lady Macbeth, who is dead set on having absolute power, disagrees with that. She convinces Macbeth to kill, to cover up the murders, and tries to convince him that these murders will get them to the top. Lady Macbeth calls upon the witches and states, “unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty” (Macbeth Act 1 Scene 5 lines 31 and 31). This shows that while in the pursuit of power, Lady Macbeth wanted it so much that she asked the witches to “unsex” her and make her more like man. But along with that you see the theme of gender roles are uncertain which ties into Lady Macbeth leading Macbeth in this pursuit of power, also giving him the ambition that she wants him to
In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, the protagonist desperately tries to live up to the image of a man that his society portrays. The search for his manhood leads him to violent acts that inevitably get him killed. In this tragedy, male and female roles are constantly discussed and defined. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth equate masculinity to violence and aggression. They both believe that in order to be a real man, then a man must perform violent acts when necessary.
Shakespeare, like any other man in the 16th and 17th century, saw ambitious and dominant women as evil and even disturbing or disturbed. From Macbeth, we can see Shakespeare feels women should be challenged and punished because they are trying to change society. Nowadays these ambitious and dominant women are regarded as brave and respected because of their ambition, such as Lady Macbeth’s ambition to become Queen. Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth as mentally disturbed.
Men were supposed to act as strong fighters, while women were locked in the domestic sphere. These gender roles are prominent in the character developments of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. At first, Macbeth is a strong, heroic solider that shows unbounded courage in battle and loyalty to his king. As the play progresses, he becomes cold, ruthless, and miserable. Lady Macbeth takes on a “manly” role, which is surprising because of how patriarchal the society is.
The women in Macbeth are presented by Shakespeare to be powerful and ambitious which was unlike the typical views during Jacobean times. The playwright portrays Lady Macbeth and the witches to be highly influential to male characters in the play, which again contrasts the contemporary views to that time. Their ambition and power are demonstrated through the perversion of nature. This highlights the evil and immoral side, they possess. Shakespeare, however, presented Lady Macbeth and the witches to be manipulative and cunning, rather than violent like Macbeth was during the play.
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.