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
With this in mind, if a man couldn’t do something a woman can, he was a disgrace; Lady Macbeth is taunting Macbeth with the gender gap, which makes him want to prove he’s more masculine and can keep it together. Even though, Lady Macbeth is viewed as a manipulative character, towards the end, she changes and shows signs of remorse/regret, which is not like her character. Lady Macbeth begins to feel remorseful because she has made an outright killing machine out of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth starts to ask herself “The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now? —What, will these hands ne 'er be
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, 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.
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
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 but is then cast aside by her husband at the end. Shakespeare thus presents masculinity in both a positive and negative light.
She is the one who wears the pants, for it was she who actually murdered Duncan. In the eyes of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth is weak. It is she that has to do his dirty work, and she who pays for her sins. Unlike most of the other Shakespeare women Lady Macbeth is ruthless, as quoted here, “Lady Macbeth is one of the most interesting and intriguing Shakespeare’s female characters. She is dominant and superior, controls her husband’s action.” (Cooper) Shakespeare treats Lady Macbeth as no less of a villain than any of his male villains. She, like most of Shakespeare’s villains gets what’s coming to her. She takes her own life out of guilt and fear. Lady Macbeth is a strong independent woman who murdered then paid the
She is malicious not only in words but also in her intent. Her sole object is to obtain power and wealth, with its attendant treasures. Lady Macbeth lacks humanity and regrets that she was not born as a man. She understands that power and violence are synonymous with manhood and bravery. Additionally, Lady Macbeth interests’ and ambition, override her love for even her husband, Macbeth. “Come, you spirits, That tend on mortal thoughts,/unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full/ Of dire cruelty” (1.5.41-44). Lady Macbeth is the personification of male dominance, ruthlessness and violence. She hopes that she could take control of all action. She yearns to be a man and her implication is that she is more masculine than Macbeth. Her drive and violent nature is more akin to men and their masculinity. It makes her more ferocious than her masculine counterpart and hence her dominance over Macbeth. As well as she invokes the spirits to deprive her of feminism and make her as volatile as men, so that she can fulfill her dream of being the queen. Lady Macbeth is a bold and ambitious woman. She has implicit faith in herself. She wants to remove every obstacle in her pursuit of becoming the queen. Her ambition is not only for herself but also for Macbeth. Nevertheless, with all her fervor, she wants him to be as strong as her. “Make thick my blood./Stop up the access and passage to remorse,/That no compunctious visitings of nature/Shake my fell purpose/Come to my woman’s breasts,/And take my milk for gall” (1.5.44-49). Lady Macbeth never wavers in her goal. Like men, she has the trait to be gruesome and diabolical in nature. She has determined for herself the course to be pursued and nothing can hinder her. She does not need the prophecy of the witches to urge her. She is aware of her strength and she is resolute in her aim. Knowing Macbeth’s weakness,
In the beginning Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Lady Macbeth was a ruthless and masculine woman. She showed the audience that, mentally and emotionally, she was stronger than Macbeth. Although as the story started to continue the audience began to see that she was becoming mentally insane. Throughout the story there was also evidence of shakespeare showing the more masculinity you had the more cuel you became. Through Lady Macbeth’s change from ruthless and masculin to insane, Shakespeare illustrates the impact of murder.
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
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.
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. Finally, even though the women were shown to be strong throughout most of the play, Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff both have unfortunate outcomes.
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:
The relationship between manhood and atrocity is the theme portrayed in Macbeth. Gender is a big factor in the drama, many decisions are made by the characters dwelling on the thought of masculinity. Lady Macbeth takes advantage of her husband by questioning his manhood, she then wishes that she herself had no female qualities and had similar male qualities. Also, she does not deny Macbeth when he says that a female like her should give birth to boys. A lot like the way that Lady Macbeth persuades her husband on to murder, Macbeth manipulates the assassins he hires to kill Banquo by questioning their manliness as well. This just goes to show that both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth irresponsibly mix masculinity with pure anger. Whenever they begin
In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, he presents the character of Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is shown, as a character that schemes into making rebellious plots. She reveals the desire for wanting to lose her feminine qualities in order to be able to gain more masculine ones. When Lady Macbeth is compared to Lady Macduff, they are very different. Lady Macduff embodies what motherhood should look like and she does not invest her time creating evil plots to kill other people. Whereas on the other hand, Lady Macbeth, not as bound to household duties, she sharpens her knowledgeable capabilities for the use of her own and the power which she holds. This is a very untraditional and unnatural factor that a woman would hold. Lady Macbeth also is seen as the more dominant role in the Macbeth marriage. On many occasions she rules her husband and dictates his actions. Although near the end of the play Lady Macbeth’s personality and strength begins to deteriorate. Later committing suicide after having many detailed memories and thoughts from the murder. Shakespeare not only shows how guilt can change a person’s personality but he also portrays untraditional gender roles.