Macbeth Gender Roles Research Paper

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The way you should behave, interact, and act are all created entirely by society. Gender roles are norms created by society that dictate the behaviour of each gender. The main types of gender stereotypes are personality traits, domestic behaviours, occupations, and physical appearance. In the play, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the main character Macbeth gets very ambitious about becoming King. He commits murder once after listening to his wife, Lady Macbeth. He also gets other people killed in order to reach his goal of becoming King. Shakespeare explores and challenges the traditions of society by creating creative circumstances. In the play, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Macduff, and the Witches subvert the stereotypical gender roles.
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Macduff becomes emotional after he realizes his family gets killed. He states, “I cannot but remember such things were,/ That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on,/ And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff,/ They were all struck for thee! naught that I am,/ Not for their own demerits, but for mine,/ Fell slaughter on their souls: heaven rest them now!” (4.3 223-227). Macduff is upset about the events that occur and is too weak to do anything about it. Instead of being strong and getting revenge on Macbeth, he gets emotional. Shakespeare subverts the stereotypical gender role as he gives Macduff a feminine characteristic of emotion. Macduff uses his anger as he wants to fight Macbeth. He states, “[F]ront to front/ Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself;/ within my sword’s length set him; if he ‘scape,/ Heaven forgive him too!” (4.3 232-235). Macduff gets rid of his grief by converting it into anger and strength. Macduff prepares himself to fight with Macbeth with the visions of getting revenge for his family. In this situation, he shows courage and power which according to the stereotypical gender roles is a masculine quality. In addition, the witches control the destiny of Macbeth in the play. The witches state, “ All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be King hereafter.” (1.3 50). When Macbeth sees the Witches for the first time they tell him he is going to become a King. Macbeth gets inspiration and ambitions of becoming the King of Scotland. After this meeting Macbeth becomes determined to reach goal and his wife forces him to murder the current King. The Witches subvert the stereotypical gender roles as they are females with power which gives them masculine characteristics. Therefore, Macduff and the Witches are acting the stereotypical way society wants them to along with opposing

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