Macbeth Gender Roles

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Throughout all of macbeth, gender roles are present in all of the halls of Macbeth's castle. It is extraordinary how William Shakespeare has molded and set examples of the male masculinity struggle and to uphold it, while on the other side how women must be treated as fragile birds. Shakespeare uses gender roles ironically to portray the complexity of the characters he has created. With all of human characters, the witches on their own face gender roles in the way of their appearances. Banquo speaks that “Banquo: Upon her skinny lips. You should be women, And yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so (1.3.47-50).” Here, Banquo has just met the witches alongside with macbeth. He is in shock of their outward appearance and speaks …show more content…

Malcolm tells Macduff to “Dispute it like a man (4.3.255).” even though his entire family has been murdered. Boys don't cry? Not so, says Macduff. He can be a man and also mourn the brutal murder of his wife and children. Not only women here have the gender roles. Macduff's family is killed and it is looked down on when men cry, yet here it is more emotionally taken by the audience than when Lady Macbeth gender roles are flipped. Having Macduff be manly man yet cry at the death of his family makes him more of a ‘well rounded character’ and lady macbeth's character is more ‘damaged’. The end of Lady Macbeth's power left so broken he had little response to it. The doctors that found her assumes a feminine role saying, “I think, but dare not speak (5.1.69).” Lady Macbeth’s power, at that point, had become so strong that male characters were acting in ways that were expected of women. Her power, along with her insanity, left the Doctor dumbfounded. Men expected women to think but not speak. This swap of roles starts the end of the play with the start of downfall of the Macbeths. As the start of the play, Lady Macbeth held most of the relationship power between the two of them and at the end left both of them in

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